With generous support from the United Arab Emirates through the Famine Relief Fund, International Medical Corps is implementing an emergency nutrition services project to support underserved, drought-affected communities in three woredas (districts) in the Oromia region in Ethiopia: Fedis, Gola Oda and Midega Tola.
Ethiopia is experiencing its fourth consecutive failed rainy season, causing extreme drought conditions that have killed more than 1.5 million livestock, destroyed crops, and affected more than 8 million people across the country. In addition, the conflict in the north has displaced approximately 4.5 million people, and with the fivefold increase in staple food prices, food insecurity and malnutrition rates have increased dramatically. According to a January 2022 report by the Disaster Risk Management Council in Ethiopia, the Oromia region has suffered from a nearly 70% reduction in crop production, and livestock production has decreased significantly. In addition, an influx of internally displaced people in these woredas has exacerbated existing humanitarian needs.
Over the next six months, and with generous support from the United Arab Emirates, International Medical Corps will provide nutrition services to thousands of children and pregnant and lactating women suffering from acute malnutrition—including preventive and therapeutic programs such as supplementary feeding and infant and young-child feeding programs. And the organization will distribute medications and supplies to 75 health facilities.
In addition, International Medical Corps will provide multipurpose cash to households that include: children with severe acute malnutrition; pregnant and lactating women enrolled in International Medical Corps’ infant and young-child feeding program; low-income people considered “the poor of poor” at the kebele (smallest administrative unit) level; or households headed by women to support maintaining a nutritious diet for their families.
“The United Arab Emirates’ support is coming at a time when Ethiopia is in dire need,” said David Eastman, Senior Director, International Programs, for International Medical Corps. “Due to climate change, devastating droughts and the Ukraine conflict, food security issues have intensified over the past year. This funding will help our Ethiopia team provide comprehensive nutrition support to three underserved districts.”
“We are facing dire food security issues,” explained Genet Jarso, International Medical Corps’ Program Director in Ethiopia. “Thanks to generous support from the government of the United Arab Emirates, International Medical Corps can expand its nutrition programming to target the most vulnerable populations in the Oromia region, helping prevent and treat malnutrition for thousands of Ethiopians.”