Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Ethiopia: MSF sees tenfold increase in children with malnutrition in Doolo zone |










A boy carries a goat near Jidhi town of Awdal region, Somaliland April 10, 2016. Picture taken April 10, 2016. Across the Horn of Africa, millions have been hit by the severe El Nino-related drought. In Somaliland and its neighbouring, also semi-autonomous, Puntland region, 1.7 million people are in need of aid, according to the United Nations. In Somaliland itself, the most affected areas include the northwest Awdal region bordering Ethiopia. REUTERS/Feisal Omar SEARCH "DROUGHT SURVIVAL" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY



In Danod, Lehel-Yucub, Wardher, Galadi and Daratole, MSF teams have treated 6,136 children under five for severe acute malnutrition since January

GENEVA, Switzerland, June 26, 2017-Mareeg-An acute humanitarian emergency is unfolding in Doolo zone, in Ethiopia’s Somali region, as malnutrition reaches alarming levels, warns international medical organisation Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF), whose teams are working in Doolo zone, the worst affected area.“The numbers of young children with severe acute malnutrition in Doolo zone are the highest ever seen in this area by our teams in the 10 years we have worked in the region,” says Saskia van der Kam, MSF nutritional advisor.

MSF teams, working alongside Ethiopian health authorities, have set up 27 outpatient therapeutic feeding centres and four inpatient therapeutic feeding centres to treat children with severe malnutrition. In Danod, Lehel-Yucub, Wardher, Galadi and Daratole, MSF teams have treated 6,136 children under five for severe acute malnutrition since January. This is over 10 times more than in the same period of 2016, when 491 children received treatment for the life-threatening condition.
In the first two weeks of June alone, 322 severely malnourished children were admitted in the four inpatient feeding centres supported by MSF. Despite all medical efforts, 51 of these children did not survive. The total number in June has risen to 67 children. “The deaths of these 67 children show the gravity of the situation,” says van der Kam. “What we are seeing is a humanitarian emergency.”
Thousands of people are fully dependent on external aid
The malnutrition crisis comes in the wake of two failed rainy seasons. Many people have seen their livestock die as a result of the drought, which has forced them to abandon their traditional nomadic way of life. They have settled in informal camps, where they do not have enough food and safe water to survive.
“When the drought came, our animals died so we could no longer stay in the bush,” says Fardausa, who has brought her three-year-old granddaughter, Maida, for treatment to one of the therapeutic feeding centres supported by MSF. “I have never seen a situation like this. We had animals that gave us everything we needed. Now we have nothing and our children become sick and die.”
Droughts are nothing new for people in this area. The mainly-pastoralist population knows how to adapt so as to lose as few camels and cows as possible until the next rains come. But after two failed rainy seasons in a row, many can no longer cope and are now totally dependent on external aid.
“Our teams are seeing entire communities left without milk, as most of their animals have died,” says Karline Kleijer, head of MSF’s Emergency Support Desk. “Without their animals, they no longer have a source of income or the means of transporting food and water when on the move. People are knocking on our doors begging for food.”
Malnutrition soars as food aid runs short
People in the camps have been receiving food aid and the regional government has been providing 2 to 3 cooked meals to people in most of the informal camps. However, supplies of food are insufficient for the high number of displaced people in need and are now running out.
“In the last week of May, the distribution of cooked food was halted, and the monthly distribution of dry food rations was delayed, leaving large numbers of people without any food at all,” says Kleijer.
“More concerning, the World Food Programme has warned that its supply of emergency food aid for the Somali region will run out at the end of July, leaving 1.7 million people even more vulnerable to malnutrition,” says van der Kam.
MSF urges donors and other organisations to scale up their support to the Somali region
Fearing a stark deterioration of the nutrition and humanitarian situation in the Somali region, MSF is planning to expand its emergency response to other zones, including Jarar and Nogob zones.
“Our teams are working with the health authorities to reach as many children as possible to provide them with therapeutic food so as to reduce the immediate mortality, rather than providing comprehensive care to a smaller number of children,” says Kleijer. “But we shouldn’t have to make such a choice. More food aid and more humanitarian organisations need to arrive in this region urgently.”
MSF calls on donors to step up their support to Ethiopia to ensure that a continuous supply of food reaches the people who need it. In conjunction, humanitarian organisations need to send teams and supplies to the hardest-hit areas to prevent the crisis from escalating further.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Ethiopia: MSF sees tenfold increase in children with malnutrition in Doolo zone | Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) International

    


An acute humanitarian emergency is unfolding in Doolo zone, in Ethiopia’s Somali region, as malnutrition reaches alarming levels, warns Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), whose teams are working in Doolo zone, the worst affected area.
“The numbers of young children with severe acute malnutrition in Doolo zone are the highest ever seen in this area by our teams in the 10 years we have worked in the region,” says Saskia van der Kam, MSF nutritional advisor.
MSF teams, working alongside Ethiopian health authorities, have set up 27 outpatient therapeutic feeding centres and four inpatient therapeutic feeding centres to treat children with severe malnutrition.
In Danod, Lehel-Yucub, Wardher, Galadi and Daratole, MSF teams have treated 6,136 children under five for severe acute malnutrition since January. This is over 10 times more than in the same period of 2016, when 491 children received treatment for the life-threatening condition.
In the first two weeks of June alone, 322 severely malnourished children were admitted in the four inpatient feeding centres supported by MSF. Despite all medical efforts, 51 of these children did not survive. The total number in June has risen to 67 children.
“The deaths of these 67 children show the gravity of the situation,” says van der Kam. “What we are seeing is a humanitarian emergency.”
Thousands of people are fully dependent on external aid
The malnutrition crisis comes in the wake of two failed rainy seasons. Many people have seen their livestock die as a result of the drought, which has forced them to abandon their traditional nomadic way of life. They have settled in informal camps, where they do not have enough food and safe water to survive.
“When the drought came, our animals died so we could no longer stay in the bush,” says Fardausa, who has brought her three-year-old granddaughter, Maida, for treatment to one of the therapeutic feeding centres supported by MSF.
“I have never seen a situation like this. We had animals that gave us everything we needed. Now we have nothing and our children become sick and die.”
Droughts are nothing new for people in this area. The mainly-pastoralist population knows how to adapt so as to lose as few camels and cows as possible until the next rains come. But after two failed rainy seasons in a row, many can no longer cope and are now totally dependent on external aid.
“Our teams are seeing entire communities left without milk, as most of their animals have died,” says Karline Kleijer, head of MSF’s Emergency Support Desk.
“Without their animals, they no longer have a source of income or the means of transporting food and water when on the move. People are knocking on our doors begging for food.”
Malnutrition soars as food aid runs short
People in the camps have been receiving food aid and the regional government has been providing 2 to 3 cooked meals to people in most of the informal camps. However, supplies of food are insufficient for the high number of displaced people in need and are now running out.
“In the last week of May, the distribution of cooked food was halted, and the monthly distribution of dry food rations was delayed, leaving large numbers of people without any food at all,” says Kleijer.
“More concerning, the World Food Programme has warned that its supply of emergency food aid for the Somali region will run out at the end of July, leaving 1.7 million people even more vulnerable to malnutrition,” says van der Kam.  
MSF urges donors and other organisations to scale up their support to the Somali region
Fearing a stark deterioration of the nutrition and humanitarian situation in the Somali region, MSF is planning to expand its emergency response to other zones, including Jarar and Nogob zones.
“Our teams are working with the health authorities to reach as many children as possible to provide them with therapeutic food so as to reduce the immediate mortality, rather than providing comprehensive care to a smaller number of children,” says Kleijer.
“But we shouldn’t have to make such a choice. More food aid and more humanitarian organisations need to arrive in this region urgently.”
MSF calls on donors to step up their support to Ethiopia to ensure that a continuous supply of food reaches the people who need it. In conjunction, humanitarian organisations need to send teams and supplies to the hardest-hit areas to prevent the crisis from escalating further.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Starvation looms as food runs out in drought-hit Ethiopia | Daily Mail Online

By AFP

Drought has forced 7.8 million people across the whole of Ethiopia to rely on emergency food handouts to stay alive.

Drought has forced 7.8 million people across the whole of Ethiopia to rely on emergency food handouts to stay alive.
The Somali people of Ethiopia's southeast have a name for the drought that has killed livestock, dried up wells and forced hundreds of thousands into camps: sima, which means "equalised".
It's an appropriate name, they say, because this drought has left no person untouched, spared no corner of their arid region. And it has forced 7.8 million people across the whole of Ethiopia to rely on emergency food handouts to stay alive.
But by next month, that food will have run out, aid agencies say.
Droughts are common in Ethiopia, and in past years the government and international community have mounted impressive efforts to curb starvation.
"The food is running out in about a month's time," Save the Children tells AFP about the drought devastating Ethiopia.

"The food is running out in about a month's time," Save the Children tells AFP about the drought devastating Ethiopia.
This year though, Africa's second most-populous country is struggling to find the money for food aid, say aid agencies.
"We're looking at the food pipeline actually breaking, so the food is running out in about a month's time," said John Graham, country director for Save the Children. "After that, we don't know what's going to happen."
- Distracted donors -
Once a global byword for starvation and poverty after a famine in 1984-85 killed hundreds of thousands, Ethiopia has seen its economy grow rapidly in the last decade. Health indicators such as infant mortality and malaria deaths have also improved.
A stronger economy allowed Ethiopia to spend an impressive $766 million (683 million euros) fighting one of its worst droughts in decades in 2015-16.
This year however, things are different.
Economic growth has slowed, due in part to protests spurred by long-simmering grievances against Ethiopia's one-party state.
In the drought ravaged Ethiopian town of Warder, the hundreds of displaced families crowding a ramshackle camp say handouts of rice and sugar are becoming less frequent.

In the drought ravaged Ethiopian town of Warder, the hundreds of displaced families crowding a ramshackle camp say handouts of rice and sugar are becoming less frequent.
Donors have also been distracted by other regional crises.
To the southeast, Somalia is suffering from severe drought, with warnings it could tip into famine.
Ethiopia´s western neighbour, South Sudan, has suffered four months of famine, and extreme hunger is at its highest levels ever after more than three years of civil war.
Ethiopia by contrast has a strong central government and is relatively free from conflict.
But with the situation so desperate in the region, donors aren't responding to the country's emergency as they have in the past, said Mitiku Kassa, head of Ethiopia's National Disaster Risk Management Commission, Mitiku Kassa.
"They are stressed with the needs, especially from those countries which (have) declared famine," Mitiku said. "That is why it is underfunded."
- 'Skipping meals is common' -
Even though Ethiopia has contributed $117 million of its own money this year and the international community $302 million, a funding gap of $481 million remains, according to the United Nations.
In the drought ravaged town of Warder, the hundreds of displaced families crowding a ramshackle camp say handouts of rice and sugar are becoming less frequent.
Some humanitarian workers privately complain the Ethiopian government isn't doing enough to call attention the drought, suggesting it does not want to resurrect the old image of Ethiopia as a place of mass starvation.

Some humanitarian workers privately complain the Ethiopian government isn't doing enough to call attention the drought, suggesting it does not want to resurrect the old image of Ethiopia as a place of mass starvation.
"Skipping meals is common," said Halimo Halim, a grandmother living with her children in a shelter made of sticks and pieces of plastic. "Skipping is the order of the day."
Families of nomadic herders such as Halimo's are central to the economy of Ethiopia's southeastern Somali region.
The drought has deprived goats, sheep and donkeys of water, killing them or making them so weak that by the time the rains come they perish in the cold.
Around 465,000 people who have lost their livestock have migrated to an estimated 250 camps in the region.
The settlements are often located near water sources, but that presents its own problems.
In Warder, workers are present around the clock at nearby wells to make sure people drawing water chlorinate it before they drink it, lest they contract "acute watery diarrhoea", which has broken out in the region.
Some aid workers say this is actually cholera, which Ethiopia has long been accused of covering up to protect its image.
- Paying the bill -
Aid agencies have turned to so-called "non-traditional" donors like the Gulf countries for funding.
At the same time they are keeping a nervous eye on budget negotiations in top funder the United States, where President Donald Trump has proposed slashing the aid budget.
But some humanitarians privately complain that the Ethiopian government isn't doing enough to call attention to its plight.
The people of Ethiopia's southeast have a name for the drought that has killed livestock and forced hundreds of thousands into camps: sima, which means "equalised". It's an appropriate name, they say, because this drought has left nothing untouched.

The people of Ethiopia's southeast have a name for the drought that has killed livestock and forced hundreds of thousands into camps: sima, which means "equalised". It's an appropriate name, they say, because this drought has left nothing untouched.
They argue that Addis Ababa does not want to distract from its development gains or resurrect the old image of Ethiopia as a place of mass starvation.
"There is no shortage of funds to combat drought," communications minister Negeri Lencho insisted earlier this month.
If the international community doesn't send more money, Mitiku said the government would be "forced" to tap its development budget for drought relief in July.
But with a lead time of about four months required to procure emergency food, the UN says that may be too late.
In Warder, those uprooted by drought, like Sanara Ahmed, are wondering how long they can survive on unreliable food handouts.
"Some support was there, but it cannot substitute for our dependability on our livelihood," Sanara said.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Starvation looms as food runs out in drought-hit Ethiopia



June 22, 2017 by Chris Stein


Drought has forced 7.8 million people across the whole of Ethiopia to rely on emergency food handouts to stay alive.
Drought has forced 7.8 million people across the whole of Ethiopia to rely on emergency food handouts to stay alive.


The Somali people of Ethiopia's southeast have a name for the drought that has killed livestock, dried up wells and forced hundreds of thousands into camps: sima, which means "equalised".
It's an appropriate name, they say, because this drought has left no person untouched, spared no corner of their arid region. And it has forced 7.8 million people across the whole of Ethiopia to rely on emergency food handouts to stay alive.
But by next month, that food will have run out, aid agencies say.
Droughts are common in Ethiopia, and in past years the government and international community have mounted impressive efforts to curb starvation.
This year though, Africa's second most-populous country is struggling to find the money for , say aid agencies.
"We're looking at the food pipeline actually breaking, so the food is running out in about a month's time," said John Graham, country director for Save the Children. "After that, we don't know what's going to happen."
Distracted donors
Once a global byword for starvation and poverty after a famine in 1984-85 killed hundreds of thousands, Ethiopia has seen its economy grow rapidly in the last decade. Health indicators such as infant mortality and malaria deaths have also improved.
"The food is running out in about a month's time," Save the Children tells AFP about the drought devastating Ethiopia.
"The food is running out in about a month's time," Save the Children tells AFP about the drought devastating Ethiopia.
A stronger economy allowed Ethiopia to spend an impressive $766 million (683 million euros) fighting one of its worst droughts in decades in 2015-16.
This year however, things are different.
Economic growth has slowed, due in part to protests spurred by long-simmering grievances against Ethiopia's one-party state.
Donors have also been distracted by other regional crises.
To the southeast, Somalia is suffering from , with warnings it could tip into famine.
Ethiopia's western neighbour, South Sudan, has suffered four months of famine, and extreme hunger is at its highest levels ever after more than three years of civil war.
Ethiopia by contrast has a strong central government and is relatively free from conflict.
But with the situation so desperate in the region, donors aren't responding to the country's emergency as they have in the past, said Mitiku Kassa, head of Ethiopia's National Disaster Risk Management Commission, Mitiku Kassa.
In the drought ravaged Ethiopian town of Warder, the hundreds of displaced families crowding a ramshackle camp say handouts of r
In the drought ravaged Ethiopian town of Warder, the hundreds of displaced families crowding a ramshackle camp say handouts of rice and sugar are becoming less frequent.
"They are stressed with the needs, especially from those countries which (have) declared famine," Mitiku said. "That is why it is underfunded."




Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-06-starvation-looms-food-drought-hit-ethiopia.html#jCp

About Me

My photo

Prof. Muse Tegegne has lectured sociology Change &  Liberation  in Europe, Africa and Americas. He has obtained  Doctorat es Science from the University of Geneva.   A PhD in Developmental Studies & ND in Natural Therapies.  He wrote on the  problematic of  the Horn of  Africa extensively. He Speaks Amharic, Tigergna, Hebrew, English, French. He has a good comprehension of Arabic, Spanish and Italian.