CEO Update: Emergency Aid in Afar

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Displaced people leaving their home

Last month our partner APDA shared with me that rain has not fallen since late September in much of the Afar Region. Exacerbating this, fighting continues in the region’s southern Zone 6. Women and children are living with severe hunger, thirst and disease.

They tell us that security concerns mean that other NGOs and international aid agencies are not working here. They fear the risks of being so close to the frontline. But despite these risks, APDA’s team are determined to reach the people who have nowhere else to turn.

Nutrition screening by APDA found that 28% of children under the age of 5 years are now severely malnourished, with 37% of pregnant and breastfeeding mothers in similar condition. 

Market access is poor, their animals are either far away or have died in drought, and there is total lack of supplementary food for mothers and children. 


Severe malnutrition in children is devastating.  Those that survive can be left with life-long challenges, stunting of growth and poor health.

Screening children for malnutrition

Our ongoing Emergency and Recovery Fund means that we are able to get funding to where it is needed quickly.  Within days of knowing the need we have been able to respond quickly and get the funding out to Ethiopia where it is saving lives and reducing suffering.


Emergency needs can arise quickly and frequently in Ethiopia.  We recognise that it might feel like we are in a constant state of never-ending need.  You might also be thinking what difference your gift will make when so many people are suffering.

I want to tell you that every gift takes us a step closer to helping another vulnerable person, someone who has been left behind and who might not have anyone else to rely on. 

The flow of donations to our Emergency and Recovery Fund has meant that whilst you are reading this post, APDA will have started screening and treating 1,400 severely malnourished families with young children and pregnant women.

I cannot thank you enough for helping to make this happen. 

Lisa Cousins


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