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Integrated urgent lifesaving health assistance in Ethiopia

Integrated urgent lifesaving health assistance in Ethiopia

Amref Health Africa and GSK are building on their partnership to provide urgent lifesaving health assistance to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and host communities in the Somali region of Ethiopia through integrated health, nutrition, and WASH interventions.

Severe drought

The Horn of Africa is experiencing one of the most severe droughts in forty years, with an estimated 37 million people facing acute food insecurity in the region. Four consecutive failed harvests, along with rising fuel, fertiliser and food prices because of the Russia-Ukraine war, and conflict in the Tigray region, mean that people across Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia face severe food insecurity.

The highest burden is in Ethiopia, which constitutes two thirds of the estimated affected population (around 24 million). Crops have failed by more than 70% compared to 2021 and more than 2.2 million livestock have died, with a further 22 million livestock at risk. An estimated 600,000 children required treatment for severe acute malnutrition (SAM) by the end of 2022 across the four drought-affected regions: Somali, Oromia, Southern Nations Nationalities and Peoples’, and South-West region (UNICEF). In the Somali region, there has been a 43% increase in SAM admissions for children under five compared to 2021.

Integrated urgent response 

Over 12 months, from January to December 2023, the Amref-GSK programme will be part of the Ethiopian Government’s humanitarian response and will contribute towards addressing the community’s urgent immediate needs. It aims to reach 155,710 people directly to increase access to quality nutrition services for children under five, pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers, and to enhance access to safe drinking water, hygiene and sanitation practice through sustainable interventions designed to change behaviours and build future resilience in communities.

We’re proud to be working with our long-term partner, Amref Health Africa, as part of the Ethiopian Government’s response to the food insecurity crisis in the Horn of Africa, which is already having a devastating impact on many of the most vulnerable communities. By working together, we aim to reach those at most risk or who are already suffering with the resources they need quickly, and to avert the worst impacts of the crisis.

Fiona Smith-Laittan, VP and Head of Global Health Strategy and Operations, GSK

Malnutrition is a major challenge which is particularly dangerous for vulnerable groups - children, pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers. There is an urgent need for support in the worst affected regions. Together with GSK, we’re building on work in these regions to ensure that we are meeting the urgent needs of these vulnerable groups.

Aneesa Ahmed, Programme Manager, Amref Health Africa UK

The programme will also aim to indirectly reach an additional 189,899 people who will benefit from the health workers trained in Maternal, Infant and Young Child Feeding Nutrition, availability of therapeutic food and medical supplies and dissemination of key messages on public health and nutrition.

Banner image: Drought in Afar, Ethiopia (c) Martha Tadesse

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