The food crisis in Ethiopia is about to reach a “critical moment” as the impact of Ethiopia's worst drought in 50 years reaches its peak over the next three months, warns Save the Children.
It is estimated that 10.2 million people, including more than 5.75 million children will remain reliant on emergency food assistance while the traditional 'lean' season takes hold until the November harvest.
As the impact of last year's failed harvests and many months of surviving on food aid intensifies, Save the Children's Country Director John Graham warns that the caseload of severe acute malnutrition and moderate acute malnutrition cases is on track to spike in August.
"In the first three months of 2016 alone, there were 108,000 recorded cases of children suffering from severe acute malnutrition, and we know from speaking to staff in our medical clinics that this upsurge is set to continue throughout the summer months,” said Graham.
In a new Save the Children report, 'Two Years of Drought Response in Ethiopia', Graham reiterates that two years on from the start of the food crisis, the El Nino-related drought is still affecting children and their families in many ways including food insecurity and malnutrition, water shortages, and the severe disruption of education for more than one million children.
"Help is still urgently needed to support the government over the coming months of scarcity and beyond. Even after the situation stabilizes, it will take two or three years for families and communities to fully recover, and even longer to continue making improvements," says Graham.
"More than $5.5 million has been raised by the public for Save the Children in Ethiopia, which is a staggering amount and has certainly helped to save lives, but we are still appealing to donors and the international community for $2 million in funding to help us to finish the job we started. “