WFP / NORTHERN ETHIOPIA

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28-Jan-2022 00:02:02
A new food security assessment by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) shows that almost 40 percent of Tigrayans are suffering an extreme lack of food, after 15 months of conflict. WFP

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STORY: WFP / NORTHERN ETHIOPIA
TRT: 02:02
SOURCE: WFP
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LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 11 NOVEMBER 2021, BERHALE DISTRICT, AFAR, ETHIOPIA / 19-20 JANUARY 2022, MEKELLE, TIGRAY, ETHIOPIA / 27 JANUARY 2022, KOMBOLCHA TOWN, AMHARA, ETHIOPIA / 27 JANUARY 2022, ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA

SHOTLIST:

11 NOVEMBER 2021, BERHALE DISTRICT, AFAR, ETHIOPIA

1. Various shots, WFP food distribution

19 JANUARY 2022, MEKELLE, TIGRAY, ETHIOPIA

2. Various shots, Hiwot at home with her daughter
3. SOUNDBITE (Tigrinya) Hiwot, Pregnant Mother of Four:
“Because of the food shortages we feed our children first and if there is anything left, we can eat. Otherwise, we go to sleep on an empty stomach. Even though I am pregnant I never have a full meal.”
4. Various shots, Hiwot eating with her children

27 JANUARY 2022, KOMBOLCHA TOWN, AMHARA, ETHIOPIA

5. Various shots, WFP nutrition distribution to malnourished children

20 JANUARY 2022, MEKELLE, TIGRAY, ETHIOPIA

6. Wide shot, trucks loaded with WFP food at warehouse in Mekelle

27 JANUARY 2022, ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA

SOUNDBITE (English) Adrian Van Der Knaap, Deputy Country Director, World Food Programme (WFP):
“Conflict continues to drive hunger more and more. We have a few million people in Tigray in a very dire situation, hundreds of thousands of very malnourished kids in Afar, in Amhara the situation is not getting better. In total well over 9 million people who have no access to food at the moment.”

20 JANUARY 2022, MEKELLE, TIGRAY, ETHIOPIA

Various shots, WFP trucks leaving warehouse in Mekelle

STORYLINE:

A new food security assessment, released today (28 Jan) by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), shows that almost 40 percent of Tigrayans are suffering an extreme lack of food, after 15 months of conflict.

Meanwhile, across all three conflict-affected regions of the north more than 9 million people are in need of humanitarian food assistance, the highest number yet.

The Tigray Emergency Food Security Assessment found that 83 percent of people are food insecure. Families are exhausting all means to feed themselves, with three quarters of the population using extreme coping strategies to survive. Diets are increasingly impoverished as food items become unavailable and families rely almost exclusively on cereals while limiting portion sizes and the number of meals they eat each day to make whatever food is available stretch further.

Hiwot is a pregnant mother of four. Her daughter was malnourished and had been receiving nutritious food from WFP and her condition improved.

Hiwot has also relied on WFP’s nutrition assistance throughout her pregnancy. The family survives on tea and injera.

SOUNDBITE (Tigrinya) Hiwot, Pregnant Mother of Four:
“Because of the food shortages we feed our children first and if there is anything left, we can eat. Otherwise, we go to sleep on an empty stomach. Even though I am pregnant I never have a full meal.”

In terms of nutrition, the survey found that 13 percent of Tigrayan children under 5 and half of all pregnant and breastfeeding women are malnourished, leading to poor pregnancy outcomes, low-birth weight, stunting and maternal death.

In neighbouring Amhara region, hunger has more than doubled in five months because the region bore the brunt of recent fighting between the Ethiopian National Defence Force (ENDF) and the Tigray Forces (TF). More than 14 percent of children under five and almost a third of pregnant and breastfeeding women are malnourished.

In Afar region, to the east of Tigray, conflict-driven displacement is pushing hunger and malnutrition rates up. Recent health screening data shows malnutrition rates for children under five were at 28 percent, far above the standard emergency threshold of 15 percent. Intensified conflict on the Tigray-Afar border in recent days is expected to force more communities from their homes and deeper into hunger.

WFP estimates that on average, crisis-affected families in northern Ethiopia were getting less than 30 percent of their caloric needs in the past months, pushing people deeper into crisis. It’s expected that that constant humanitarian food assistance will be required at least throughout 2022.

Since March, and despite the challenges posed to operations, WFP has reached almost 4 million people across northern Ethiopia with food and nutrition assistance. The survey found that when access to Tigray improved during the summer months, humanitarian assistance from WFP and its partners kept starvation at bay for those who had been cut off from assistance prior to May.

More recently, however, no convoy has reached Tigray since mid-December. Fighting and insecurity means WFP and other humanitarian actors are struggling to reach areas isolated by conflict, in conditions that risk the safety of staff and the security of humanitarian supplies.

SOUNDBITE (English) Adrian Van Der Knaap, Deputy Country Director, World Food Programme (WFP):
“Conflict continues to drive hunger more and more. We have a few million people in Tigray in a very dire situation, hundreds of thousands of very malnourished kids in Afar, in Amhara the situation is not getting better. In total well over 9 million people who have no access to food at the moment.”

WFP’s Northern Ethiopia response urgently requires 337 million US dollars to deliver assistance over the next six months and will begin running out of the capacity to purchase food from February. Across the entire country, WFP has an unprecedented funding gap of 667 million US dollars to save and change the lives of 12 million people over the next six months.
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