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2008.06.05

*  Additional resources need to fight food crisis in Ethiopia
*  02 min 15 secs
Shoot City: Siraro
Shoot Country: Ethiopia
*  01 May 2008

This line for the daily ration of life saving therapeutic milk has been steadily growing for the past few months.

Since the food shortage began, over 126 thousand children across the country need urgent therapeutic care. Severely malnourished children unable to drink chew or too unwell to suckle; receive formula milk through a nasal feeding tube to improve their nutrition levels.

Even adults are not being spared the tragic fate afflicting children.

SOUNDBITE (English) SAMSON DESSIE, UNICEF Nutrition Officer: “One of the rarely happening situations is adult malnutrition. Normally we have malnutrition with children under five. But here you can see an adult seriously malnourished with severe acute malnutrition. This shows the severity of the drought, the severity of the crisis or situation.”

Faced with a high number of malnourished people, UNICEF, local government and NGOs are calling the world’s attention to the emergency and the urgent need for additional supplies.

SOUNDBITE (English) SYLVIE CHAMOIS, UNICEF Nutrition Specialist: 
“We are getting short of Plumpy nut. At this point in time we have only 90 tons coming by plane this weekend to Addis Ababa and we are looking to procuring 2,000tonnes on an emergency basis just for the immediate response in the drought affected area. 2,000 tones.”

Despite efforts to treat as many children as possible, there are still a significant number of starving children unable to travel to the centre. Without treatment, mortality is estimated at 25 to 50 per cent.

In Ethiopia famine is a recurring threat that has been devastating in the past. Today immediate emergency assistance until the next harvest is mandatory to ease the people of Ethiopia out of the deadly crisis.



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