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Meeting drought-stricken families' urgent needs in Ethiopia

Ethiopia, July 13, 2011

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  <span class="field-credit">
    Thatcher Cook for Mercy Corps  </span>
    With help from community action groups in some of Ethiopia's poorest, driest and most remote villages, Mercy Corps is digging ponds and wells to ensure more reliable water supply for irrigation, livestock and household needs — especially during long months of drought. Photo: Thatcher Cook for Mercy Corps

Even before the current Horn of Africa drought reached its acute stage over the last several days, Mercy Corps was already hard at work on drought response activities throughout the region. So far, the majority of our drought-related activities have been in Ethiopia.

Here are some of the ways our team in Ethiopia has responded to the worsening drought and food crisis:

  • Reached more than 95,000 people with an emergency nutrition program that distributes food including corn-soy flour and cooking oil
  • Delivered more than 1.7 million liters of clean water to 55,546 people in Gashamo, an extremely arid region of eastern Ethiopia
  • Began another emergency nutrition program last month that will help feed approximately 21,000 people in Afder Zone, one of eastern Ethiopia's poorest and most remote areas
  • Trained 42 community animal health workers and treated or vaccinated more than 271,500 livestock, helping protect the livelihoods of the herding families who dominate this region
  • Helped create four ponds, 10 wells and a dam — as well as providing pumps, tanks and other equipment — that will help ensure more reliable water supply for vulnerable areas

We're continuing to identify and implement programs that will help meet the basic needs — such as food, water and sanitation — of families affected by drought in Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya. We'll keep you updated on our response; thank you for your support.