About the Situation
By the Numbers
More than 96 million people live in Ethiopia.
67% of the people in Ethiopia live in severe poverty.
Only 42% of rural residents have access to safe drinking water.
(Sources: The World Bank, United Nations)
Acute droughts regularly wreak havoc on Ethiopia’s economy. The country has made significant economic progress during the past decade, with government aid programs alleviating poverty levels in rural areas; however, another major drought in this decade—considered the worst in the region in 60 years—caused a severe crisis with long-lasting ramifications for many families and for the country as a whole. Two-thirds of the population lives in severe poverty.
How Islamic Relief is Helping
Islamic Relief™ launched operations in Ethiopia in response to severe droughts in 2000, 2001 and 2002. After years of emergency relief efforts in Ethiopia, Islamic Relief Ethiopia opened in January 2004. Relief teams have implemented long-term development projects that have improved access to education, health care, water and sanitation. Islamic Relief also launched several projects aimed at developing livelihood and food security, and strengthening the capacity of local organizations. Ethiopia was also one of several African countries supported by Islamic Relief’s Africa Food Crisis campaign.
Here’s a breakdown of some programs Islamic Relief has supported in Ethiopia:
INTEGRATED BASIC SERVICE PROVISIONS
More than 6,500 pastoral and agro-pastoralist communities in the Cheretti District stand to benefit from a program that improves access to basic education, primary health care and water and sanitation services. The project will include school construction, provisions of school supplies and medical equipment, constructions of wells, training, health promotion awareness and more.
LIVELIHOOD AND CHILD PROTECTION IMPROVEMENT PROJECT
This project serves to improve the livelihood of orphans, widows and out-of-school youth by providing vocational training, counseling, and HIV awareness services. Some 200 widowed mothers will receive assistance and training to start microbusinesses; about 250 young people will be set up with vocational training and employment opportunities; and some 2,000 community members will receive counseling and HIV/AIDS awareness services.
RAMADAN FOOD DISTRIBUTION
MALARIA CONTROL AND TREATMENT
More than a quarter of a million people benefitted from a project that aimed to reduce the overall burden of malaria by 50% in the Ewa district of Afar. The program included the distribution of long-lasting insecticide treated mosquito nets; training of health professionals for early diagnosis and treatment, as well as training for community members on the use of related equipment; training of school health clubs in prevention and control of malaria; assisting public health officials to conduct community talks on malaria prevention; and the preparation and distribution of awareness campaign materials in local languages. More than 274,000 people benefitted.
EMERGENCY LIVESTOCK INTERVENTION PROGRAM
This program introduced more than 38,000 people in the community of Afar to new approaches to livestock health services. Local animal health care workers were trained on best practices, and vaccinations and treatments were administered to help safeguard animals from disease.
EMERGENCY RESPONSE, INCLUDING FOOD AID AND WATER PROJECTS
Islamic Relief was on the ground in Ethiopia (as well as in Kenya and Somalia) to provide vital aid to survivors of the 2011 drought—considered the worst drought to hit the region in 60 years. More than 40,000 people in Ethiopia received emergency aid through efforts including supplementary food provisions for malnourished children and water truck services for tens of thousands of individuals.
INTEGRATED LOCAL AREA DEVELOPMENT
Islamic Relief worked to improve the health, education, water and sanitation services for 22,000 people in the Hargele, Cherati and Elkere districts over the course of three years, ending in 2013. The program helped strengthen the health management information system of district health offices; support the distribution of promotion materials on health awareness; enhance co-curricular activities for students through the establishment of school clubs and competition initiatives; train individuals on water schemes management; and much more.