TORONTO, May 19, 2016 /CNW/ - Even with years of grain storage and other precautions, it's difficult to prepare for a country-wide drought. That's the case in Ethiopia, where Christian Children's Fund of Canada (CCFC) is responding to a crisis affecting more than 10-million children, women and men.
"Extreme weather in Ethiopia has caused massive crop failures, affecting farmers and their families across most parts of the country," says Feleke Tadele, CCFC Ethiopia country director. "Without adequate food, water or sanitation, the situation has become urgent."
The drought was triggered by El Niño, the warming of the central to eastern tropical Pacific Ocean, which alters weather systems worldwide every two to seven years. In Ethiopia, the impact has been devastating. Approximately 80 percent of the population lives in rural areas and depends on farming to sustain their families. As a result, the number of pregnant and nursing women and children (under the age of five) who require treatment for acute malnutrition has already more than doubled to 2.2 million, according to the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
"Things have gone from bad to worse," says Tadele. "Millions of people are affected and without our support, their situation will lead to death."
CCFC has been helping children and families in Ethiopia access life's essentials for nearly 30 years. Canadians currently support 50,000 people in Ethiopia through CCFC sponsorship and community projects. Approximately 75 percent of those living in CCFC program communities have been impacted by the drought.
"Helping children survive is our main concern," says Mark Lukowski, CCFC's CEO. "We urge Canadians to give generously to provide relief to children and families devastated by this humanitarian crisis."
To date, only half of the $1.4 billion in aid required to address the needs in Ethiopia has been provided by the international community, leaving a critical funding gap. CCFC is working alongside the Government of Ethiopia to distribute essential food to families in need and support community schools to ensure minimal interruptions during this crisis. Donations made to CCFC's response efforts will help those who need it most.
To donate, visit ccfcanada.ca/drought-in-Ethiopia.
Resources for download:
1) Video Interview with Feleke Tadele: bit.ly/CCFCFelekeInterview
2) Drought Infographic: bit.ly/EthiopiaDroughtInfographic
3) Media Kit: http://bit.ly/EthiopiaDroughtMediaKit
About Christian Children's Fund of Canada:
Christian Children's Fund of Canada (CCFC) is a child-focused international development organization and a member of ChildFund Alliance. For more than 50 years, CCFC has been helping children and families of all faiths move from poverty to self-reliance. CCFC supports children and communities in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Nicaragua and Paraguay. Currently, CCFC has more than 50,000 children sponsored, benefiting approximately 500,000 people around the world.
SOURCE Christian Children's Fund of Canada
For further information: For additional information, or to set up an interview, please contact: John Bowes, Strategic Objectives, (416) 366-7735, ext. 246, [email protected]; Bonar Bell, Christian Children's Fund of Canada, (905) 754-1001, ext. 221, [email protected]