Parents and children attending the Compassion-assisted Zeway Lutheran Children of Developing Project (ET-652), southwest of Nazret, gratefully accept a supply of cooking oil. Families associated with the Compassion Ethiopia projects affected by the famine receive teff (a highly nutritious grain, indigenous to Ethiopia) or corn, cooking oil and nutritional supplements for younger children.
The only African country never colonized by Europeans is fighting, once again. Ethiopia, for the second time in two decades, is struggling to stave off famine.
For the country's impoverished population, of whom 80 percent exist through subsistence farming and raising livestock, the drought is devastating. And since Compassion Ethiopia serves the poorest of the poor, the ministry has not escaped this present crisis.
Ethiopia's lowlands are the areas hardest hit. And 20 of Compassion's church-based child development centers are in drought-prone lowland regions in the Rift Valley. During the late summer of 2002, these church partners reported that the 4,891 children and families they collectively serve needed significant assistance.*
Compassion Ethiopia immediately implemented an emergency relief program effort to provide monthly food rations to at-risk children and their families. With the help of Compassion's Disaster Relief Fund, food supplies were purchased, delivered to the 20 projects and distributed to those in desperate need.
In May 2003, another project was added to the 20 already receiving assistance. Food supplements will be supplied to all 21 projects through December 2003.
Compassion is grateful that no loss of life due to the drought has been reported among the over 5,000 children and their families who have been affected. In the meantime, please continue to pray for the millions of Ethiopians who are still suffering because of this disaster.
* Compassion's practice is to notify sponsors if their sponsored children are significantly impacted by disasters, including war, famine, flooding, earthquakes and severe storms.
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