A series of severe droughts have scarred Ethiopia. Millions of people now face critical
water shortages and are unable to grow enough food to feed their families. As a
result, more than 45% of the population are undernourished.
Malnutrition is the state in which the body is so deprived of nutrients that a person
cannot continue growing, learning, doing physical work or fighting disease.
Children, pregnant women, nursing mothers and the elderly are the most vulnerable
The Somali region has the highest rates of acute malnutrition in Ethiopia. Every
second child is underweight.
People living in this region depend on agriculture and livestock to survive. However,
failed rains have led to crop deterioration and water shortages. Thousands of animals
have also died or become too weak to produce milk.
Islamic Relief’s work is focused in the Afder zone of the Somali region. Emergency
relief in Afder has included trucking clean water to villages and distributing high-energy
biscuits to tackle malnutrition.
Health facilities are poor in Hargelle and Elkerie, so malnourished people cannot
get the medical attention they need. Health centres do not have essential equipment
and there are not enough doctors, medicines or vaccinations to treat everyone.
To combat malnutrition, Islamic Relief runs a Health and Nutrition Recovery programme
in Afder. Project activities include equipping health centres, giving hygiene training
and providing food supplements.
Packed full of vitamins and nutrients, the supplementary food helps people regain
their strength and recover from hunger.
Islamic Relief completed the Health and Nutrition Recovery programme in March 2007.
More than 23,100 men and women in Afder zone benefited from the project.
Over 2,700 people received supplementary nutrition. Extensive health education was
also given in all areas where the project was carried out.
The programme ran alongside water, education and sustainable livelihoods projects
in the Somali regions.
Find out more about Islamic Relief's
Health and Nutrition projects
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