Emergency Food Parcels – Ethiopia

Dear Friends,

We are so grateful for the overwhelming support we have received from supporters for our Covid-19 response in Uganda. Your generosity has allowed us to support hundreds of families who have been so grateful to know that there are people who care about them.

Sadly, we have been contacted by Beletew Mengesha, our partner in Ethiopia, who has told us that the pandemic is starting to take hold there. On 5th August the country registered 768 cases and the country’s Health Minister has said that he expects this to increase significantly over the coming months.

Like Uganda, Ethiopia is not in a position to provide the kind of support we have managed to provide in the UK for our citizens and health service. There is a shortage of suitable PPE in many clinics and hospitals and a lack of awareness among much of the population. Many people are also struggling to earn an income at this time.

Some of you may remember the long involvement we have had in the Rasa Goba area in Ethiopia. 20 years ago we linked up with Tear Fund and helped to provide a large water reservoir to provide clean water to the local area. A few years ago, we responded to a famine in the area and provided emergency food supplies to children in local schools. We now want to take action to support the same community in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Rasa Goba area has seven villages and a total population in excess of 10,000 people. There are three clinics and one hospital in the area which do not have proper equipment or PPE at the moment. Beletew has initially identified 36 people who are old or have a disability and are suffering from an ability to buy or grow food.

For the last few weeks we have been working with Beletew to decide how best we can respond to this situation and we thought you might like to hear about it.

First, it’s important to say that the plan has been agreed with regional government and health authorities in Ethiopia.

The plan we have agreed is split into distinct parts:

  • To work with Health Centre staff and District Administrators so they are fully equipped to train and advise community members as they come into contact with them.
  • To educate and inform the local population of the dangers of Covid-19 and preventative measures that people can take to limit the spread of the virus. This will involve engaging young people and training them so that they can travel throughout the communities with banners and loud speakers and communicate the need for hand washing, social distancing and use of face masks. Face masks, soap and sanitiser will be provided to community members who are present at the training.
  • To provide PPE equipment to clinical staff at the hospital and health clinics, including full clinical gowns, face shields, gloves etc
  • To provide emergency food parcels for old or disabled members of the community.

The overall cost of this is £10,000, made up as follows:

Training and communication £400
Personal Protective Equipment £3,500
Community sanitation £3,250
Food relief £1,475
Other project costs £1,375

We have committed to support the people of Rasa Goba at this time. If you would like to get involved and support the project we would be so grateful. To help you work out what your donation can buy, here’s a short list that might help.

Emergency food package for one person (4 – 6 weeks provision). £40
Packet of 100 gloves £2
Packet of 50 masks £10
Face shield £10
Clinical gown £53
Blood pressure monitor £32
Infra-red thermometer £85

We know that any help we give is a drop in the ocean, but we have already seen in Uganda what a difference some support can make in people’s lives. Our help might only be a small intervention, but it can be the difference between life and death for those it touches.

If you would like to give, please follow this link to our giving page: https://www.give.net/Ethiopia_Covid_19

 We will keep you updated when we have more information to share but, in the meantime, here are some photos of a similar project that Beletew has recently been involved with in the Afar region.

Community Training
Education in the community
Provision of PPE

With best wishes,

Chris, Rosey, Paul, Richard, Raymond and Aimee