GENEVA, 05 August 2011 (IFRC) – In response to the increasingly desperate situation in Ethiopia, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is today launching an emergency appeal to provide assistance to tens of thousands of Ethiopians struggling to survive in the face of severe drought.
Funds raised by the appeal will support the live-saving work of the local staff and volunteers from the Ethiopian Red Cross Society (ERCS) who are working tirelessly to bring relief and assistance to their fellow countrymen and women.
“There has been below average rainfall in Ethiopia over the past two seasons and this has led to an increasingly serious drought situation.” said IFRC Secretary-General Bekele Geleta, himself an Ethiopian national. “Thousands of people are suffering and at risk of dying from thirst and hunger. The Ethiopian Red Cross needs our full support to do what they do best – bring relief and save lives.” he continued.
The crisis in Ethiopia is just one part of an escalating humanitarian emergency unfolding across the Horn of Africa which is experiencing its driest year on record. “The drought ravaging the region is one of the most severe food security emergencies in the world today, and we need to act fast” said Geleta. “Rural farmers, particularly those dependent on the land to graze their livestock, are just one sector of the Ethiopian population who urgenty need support.”
The Government of Ethiopia has estimated that an estimated 4.5 million people will require emergency help over the next six months. The IFRC emergency appeal focuses on providing support through food relief, cash grants, water and sanitation, emergency health and care and institutional capacity building. It also focuses on planning and delivering long-term recovery and rehabilitation assistance to communities.
A press conference concerning this issue will take place on Tuesday 9th August 2011, at 9:30am at the Headquarters of the Ethiopian Red Cross Society (ERCS), Ras Desta Damtew Avenue, Addia Ababa. Senior representatives of the ERCS will be taking questions.
About the IFRC
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is the world’s largest volunteer-based humanitarian network, reaching 150 mil¬lion people each year through its 186 member National Societies. Together, the IFRC acts before, during and after disasters and health emergencies to meet the needs and improve the lives of vulnerable people. It does so with impartiality as to nationality, race, gender, religious beliefs, class and political opinions. For more information, please visit www.ifrc.org. You can also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.
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