By Peter Aitken | Fox News
UNICEF has appealed for $31 million in relief to ease the suffering of over 4 million people during a severe drought in Ethiopia that threatens to impact millions more.
Three consecutive failed rainy seasons have created severe drought in the country, heavily impacting lowland areas with a lack of clean water and destroying crops, which has led to increased food insecurity and skyrocketing malnutrition.
The spiraling situation may impact over 6.8 million people by mid-March
Iman Magan, a mother from the Korahe zone in the Somali region, described the situation as “difficult.”
“My child is suffering and we are facing difficulties,” she said. “I left Gelile-el this morning and came to Debele. I came seeking a medication for my child.”
UNICEF has appealed for the funds in addition to an already massive $351 million in overall humanitarian aid needed for the region. The further appeal would aim to ease the suffering of 2 million people in Afar, Oromia, and Somali regions of the country.
The agency will work with local governments to overhaul local water infrastructure while providing water trucking, treatment for severely malnourished children and emergency education.
Bashir Sheik Mohammed, UNICEF Ethiopia Nutrition Specialist, noted that the strategy aimed to “minimize unnecessary deaths among children.”
“It’s a critical integrated package of life saving with sanitation, promotion, treatment of acute malnutrition and treatment of common illnesses and including vaccinations,” Bashir said.