At the beginning of the year, we shared with you news of the devastating locust and drought crisis that was sweeping across the Afar region in northern Ethiopia. You responded with immense generosity and kindness. Here is our latest update on the situation:
Since 2015, we have been working with the Afar Pastoralist Development Association (APDA) to protect communities who have been impacted by flooding, droughts, food insecurity, displacement, plagues and disease outbreaks.
Thanks to your generosity we have been able to send €20,000 directly to APDA to enable them to deliver urgent and lifesaving support to families and communities affected by the ongoing locust swarms.
What are the challenges ahead?
This year has seen massive locust swarms devastating crops and pasture, causing severe malnutrition, loss of livelihoods and livestock deaths. Then came the global pandemic with restrictions on travel, social distancing and the closure of markets, leaving people without a means of earning an income. Now these same communities are recovering from flash flooding caused by heavy rainfall. APDA reports that over 40,731 of their beneficiaries have been displaced.
Pastoralists communities in Afar are increasingly experiencing climate shocks such as drought and flood. Food security and poor health are constant threats. But the Afar people are incredibly resourceful and resilient, and we will continue to work closely with APDA to support families that are overlooked or unable to access emergency aid distribution points. APDA have the expertise to respond quickly and appropriately during crises so that the most vulnerable are reached.
The safety net that Ethiopiaid supporters help to provide is so very important. Thanks to you, we have been able to fund water resilience projects so that when drought hits, communities have access to stored water for longer. Malnourished pregnant mothers and children have received medicine and food aid. In addition, veterinary care and extra fodder has meant livestock can survive and continue producing critically needed milk.
While 2021 will no doubt see further threats to food security and health, we will be monitoring closely and assisting APDA where we can, so that communities can survive, build resilience and hopefully one day thrive.