The Fred Hollows Foundation is contributing to a food relief program for people in two regions of Ethiopia as the country’s hunger crisis worsens.
Over three months, 22,740 people have received vital food supplies to ensure their survival. Local government agencies carried out mass screenings to identify and prioritise the vulnerable. People with disabilities, young children, pregnant women and the elderly are the recipients.
The worst drought in 60 years has caused a famine affecting more than 13 million people in East Africa, according to United Nations estimates.
The Foundation has provided funding to help the Austrian international development organisation 'Light for the World' distribute food supplies in Ethiopia‘s hard-hit Somali and Oromia regions.
In these arid regions of nomadic farmers, livestock are the main food source and asset for many people. Two failed rainy seasons (2010-2011) have destroyed the crops and dried up the waterholes their animals need to survive. As a result, millions of people are now suffering from severe malnutrition due to food and water scarcity.
The crisis has intensified as people from neighbouring famine-affected countries stream into Ethiopia seeking food and shelter.
In developing countries, people with disabilities like blindness are at greater risk of extreme poverty and malnutrition as they are less able to support themselves.
Early this year The Foundation began working in partnership with 'Light for the World' to restore sight to people with avoidable blindness in northern Ethiopia. More than 1.26 million Ethiopians are blind.