The current Situation

East Africa is in the grip of a devastating food crisis, with 16 million people on the brink of starvation. Successive droughts have caused crops to fail across Southern Ethiopia, Somalia and Northern Kenya. Livestock are dying and safe sources of water are scarce.

In Ethiopia 5.6 million people are estimated to be in need of food assistance, and a quarter of all districts in Ethiopia are officially classified as facing a food and nutrition crisis. While this figure is less than during 2016, this severity in southern Ethiopia is increasing. There have been widespread livestock deaths and crop failures.

How are Tearfund helping?

Tearfund in Ethiopia have already been responding to the long-term crisis facing the country, but it plans to respond with cash programming (giving small cash grants to enable people to buy their own choice of food and vital supplies, which also support local markets) and food distributions can only continue with extra funds.

Make a gift to the east africa crisis fund


Pray for Ethiopia

  • Pray for an end to the droughts that have had such a devastating effect upon these lands. Ask God that the rains will fall when and where they are needed.
  • Pray for all those who are suffering from hunger. Ask that they will be given comfort and strength and that they will receive the help they need without delay.
  • Pray that there will be a huge response from the international community, and that funds will be made available to provide all that is needed so that Tearfund’s staff and partners can work to support those in greatest need.

Self help solutions:


self help groups
and resilience
to future drought.


self help group members
working their way
out of poverty


people received
life-saving food
in the current drought.


have seeds for planting in 2016.

Key to Tearfund’s work in Ethiopia have been Self Help Groups. 
These enable  vulnerable people to support each other, financially and with mutual encouragement. 

Members begin by saving small amounts, which are used as loans to start or grow new businesses. They are a proven method for communities to lift themselves out of economic poverty. As of April 2016, there are over 18,000 Self Help Groups across 50 locations in Ethiopia with more than 330,000 members.

People in Self Help Groups are generally more resilient to drought than many of their neighbours, but the size of the emergency has meant that they are vulnerable to losing their hard-earned resources.

The plan is to grow this work over the next six years to 30,000 groups in 60 locations.

‘People who are part of Self Help Groups are able to cope better in the current drought. Other people have seen the difference and now want to join them.’

(Tearfund worker)

Tearfund are providing cash grants to the Self Help Groups that will enable members to buy their own food, and to keep their livelihoods afloat during the current drought. These groups also support others who are vulnerable in their communities.

Tearfund and the partner organisations are combining this work with facilitation of Disaster Risk Resilience; this means that the community are able to identify their own vulnerabilities to future disasters. If disaster strikes again they will be far better prepared to withstand it.

With your prayers and help, we can make a difference for the people of Ethiopia

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