The effect of drought and rising food prices in some parts of Ethiopia is headline news, yet few people know the truth of the situation.
A recent United Nations crop assessment found that at least six areas of eastern Ethiopia have seen a near total crop failure because of inadequate rainfall. The UN also announced that the country-wide drought is likely to continue well into 2009.
Children are the most vulnerable to nutritional deficits and the first to succumb when there is not enough food to go around. The Government of Ethiopia estimates that 75,000 children under the age of five live with severe acute malnutrition. And 25 to 50 percent of children with severe acute malnutrition are likely to die if they don't receive proper treatment.
But there is hope for the children of Ethiopia. UNICEF-supported therapeutic feeding programs have been set up around Ethiopia following the establishment of a national protocol for severe acute malnutrition. This approach has revolutionized the treatment of malnutrition in Ethiopia, leading to a significant drop in mortality rates for malnourished children of all ages.
The time to act is now! Help bring international attention to the plight of these children. Please sign the pledge at care2petitionsite and help to spread the word around.