MaximsNewsNetwork: 13 November 2009 – UNICEF: More than 6 million Ethiopians are in need of food assistance following drought, global recession and a deficit in food aid. UNICEF supports outpatient therapeutic feeding centres to bring services to children with severe malnutrition closer to home.
Its been an arduous year in the Boricha district of Ethiopia. Drought, inflation, recession and deficit in food aid means the people in this arid region are in a nutritional emergency.
Mulu Yohannes is a community health worker in Anja Jaffa. Five months ago she opened a therapeutic feeding program in the village with support from UNICEF.
SOUNDBITE (Amharic) Mulu Yohannes, Community Health Worker:
People are very worried, very scared. What are we going to eat? What are we going to feed our children? they ask.
This woman says her crops are barren. The only food she can feed her children comes from handouts from a woman whose house she cleans.
Her four-year-old daughter is recovering from severe malnutrition with the help of ready-to-use therapeutic food aid and close monitoring.
Mulu is making a home visit an event that would have been unthinkable before the establishment of the local feeding program.
With 6 million Ethiopians in need of emergency food assistance, UNICEF is committed to continuing therapeutic feeding and mobile health worker training. To respond adequately, it requires 52 million dollars in 2009 – only half of which has been funded to date.
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