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Scottish funds bring hope in Ethiopia

Earlier this year, Tearfund Scotland secured funding to help those affected by the hunger crisis in Ethiopia.

Written by Jen Clark | 07 Nov 2023

Credit: TDA

Credit: TDA

The hunger crisis in Ethiopia is rarely at the top of the news agenda. Yet communities in this country face starvation after the worst drought in over forty years. 

Earlier this year, Tearfund Scotland successfully bid for funding from the Scottish Government’s Humanitarian Emergency Fund to help those worst affected. This support has helped 3,000 people, providing families with food to sustain them for three months and extra feeding supplements for those suffering from malnutrition.

Tearfund’s local partner, TDA, has been working hard to identify those in greatest need to provide this urgent food assistance so that people in the region have been able to survive, despite the tragic loss of their livelihoods.

Photo of 52-year-old father Dabase Holo. Credit: TDA

52-year-old father Dabase Holo. Credit: TDA

Hope for the future

In one of the hardest hit locations, close to the Kenyan border, 52-year-old father Dabase Holo has been supported by this crucial funding after experiencing huge loss.

‘As a result of the drought over the last three consecutive years, our family lost all livestock. It was our main source of income and I had no idea 55 cattle, 11 goats and two donkeys would die. I tried all I could to save them, but I could not. I lost my job and the high inflation of food items made life very challenging. We had no financial support to meet our daily food needs. I had to beg from other villagers.

‘Then we heard Tearfund’s partner would provide food for three months. We are happy with the supply and we thank you for reaching us with food support. We have hope for the future.’

Empowering women

Alongside providing urgent food assistance, an important additional focus for this project has been ensuring women and girls are actively involved in decision-making around how best to meet the needs of the community.

Tato Galma, 55, is a married woman with five children, living in Moyale District. She had the opportunity to take part in gender training, facilitated by Tearfund’s partner so that decision-makers and the wider community would understand the importance of giving women a say in how to respond.

She said, ‘Before this training, men used to engage without women’s participation and say. Women always had to accept the decisions made by men, even when it concerned our own needs and rights or affected us negatively. When men receive assistance, they sell half of it. But now almost all the amount of food received from this project is for the household. This is because of women’s increased participation and opportunity.

Now my village administration and community understand the importance of involving women, and the food assistance we have received has met its intended purpose. Poor households headed by women have benefited, and the training has opened our eyes – helping us understand how equality and participation is important for both women, men and the community.’

Thankful for support

Simba Nyamarezi, Tearfund’s Country Director in Ethiopia, said, ‘We are very thankful for the timely and impactful support provided to drought-affected populations by the Scottish Government. This has helped families to meet their most urgent needs, giving women more opportunities to have their voices heard, to the benefit of everyone. Tearfund is committed to continuing to support communities in this region to recover from this drought and become more resilient for the future.’

Lorna McDonald, Head of Tearfund Scotland (Interim) added, ‘We’re thankful Scottish Government support has helped families in Ethiopia get through the worst of times. We also know many supporters and churches in Scotland have given generously to our Ethiopia Hunger Crisis Appeal. With your faithful gifts, we’ve reached more of the families affected, providing them with a means of survival when all else has failed.’

Written by

Written by  Jen Clark

Tearfund Scotland Media and Communications Manager

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