Since August 2019 the European Commission’s Office of Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), have been supporting GOAL’s emergency drought response in Ethiopia. Over 8 million people required humanitarian assistance in Ethiopia in 2019 as a result of drought and other disasters. The project is being implemented by a consortium, led by GOAL Ethiopia, with implementing partner Action Against Hunger.
Life-saving operations are taking place across more than 30 districts in Oromiya, Somali and Amhara Regions, with the main objectives of addressing acute malnutrition among children and pregnant women, and improving access to clean safe drinking water and sanitation facilities among drought-affected and internally displaced communities. Activities include detection and treatment of severe and moderate acute malnutrition through out-patient and in-patient programmes, promotion of best infant and young child feeding practices to improve nutritional status, construction and rehabilitation of water supply schemes, latrines in health facilities, distribution of essential household items (such as soap and water treatment chemicals), and promotion of good hygiene and sanitation practices.
Overall the project aims to treat 68,000 women and children with acute malnutrition, and reach 137,000 individuals with access to clean water, sanitation and improved hygiene practices. More than 800 government health workers will be supported with training activities that intend to improve the government staff’s own capacity to respond to malnutrition and potential water-related outbreaks.
In October 2019, ECHO and GOAL Ethiopia conducted a monitoring visited to two of the targeted Zones – East and West Hararghe. The team met with health workers in the targeted health facilities, community members enrolled in GOAL’s social and behavior change programmes, and caregivers of children admitted to GOAL’s nutrition treatment programmes.
Nerdia Ali, a 60-year-old woman from Chiro Woreda, is pictured below with her 9-month old and 3-year old grandchildren. The infant is enrolled in a GOAL supported in-patient facility for children suffering from severe acute malnutrition and medical complications.
“I have been here for the last 8 weeks. Before I brought my grandchild here she was vomiting, had diarrhea and kept losing weight. Her mother passed away after getting birth to her, and I was scared. After I brought her here her health has improved. She is taking milk, different medicine and treatment. I thank God now because I was about to lose her.”
This life-saving work would not be possible without the support from GOAL’s generous Donor ECHO and the strong commitment of the Ethiopian government and communities to respond to and mitigate the effect of disasters.