ChildFund is providing food and support for families in Ethiopia

Drought has struck East Africa and an estimated 8.2 million children and families in Ethiopia are suffering from a food shortage that is escalating by the day.

After two seasons of poor rains, crop growth has stalled, seeds are not germinating, vegetation is drying up and livestock are dying.

The drought has affected more than 211,421 people across ChildFund’s program areas, including 73,997 children, and is expected to get worse and continue well into 2016.

Our Members are providing support including the provision of protein-rich supplementary food to children under five and pregnant and breastfeeding mothers.

Selamawit is one of those children.

She is just five years old and is suffering from Kwashiorkor, a severe form of malnutrition, which is caused by a deficiency in dietary protein.

The failure of the family’s crops and increasing food prices have left Selamawit’s mother with little to feed her three children. The family are surviving on just one meal a day, roasted chickpeas or baked false banana: a drought tolerant plant that is high in fibre, yet low in protein.

Selamawit is dependent on the care she is receiving at ChildFund’s therapeutic feeding centre to overcome her malnutrition.

Her mother is terrified that even if treated, the malnutrition will have a negative, irreversible impact on her daughter’s development that will affect her for life. Such as:

  • Stunted growth; when a child is very small for their age
  • Underweight; when a child has a very low weight for their age
  • Wasting; when a child has extremely low weight their height
  • Brain damage
  • Impaired motor development
  • High risk of chronic disease in adult life