UNICEF / ETHIOPIA DROUGHT CHILDREN

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28-Apr-2022 00:04:56
At the end of a four-day visit to Ethiopia, UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell urged the international community to immediately scale up support to avert a humanitarian catastrophe due to the drought in Ethiopia and the rest of the Horn of Africa. UNICEF

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STORY: UNICEF / ETHIOPIA DROUGHT CHILDREN
TRT: 4:56
SOURCE: UNICEF
RESTRICTIONS: PLEASE CREDIT UNICEF ON SCREEN
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / ARABIC / NATS

DATELINE: 26 APRIL 2022, HIGLO IDP SITE FOR DROUGHT DISPLACED IDPS, SHABELLE ZONE, SOMALI REGION, ETHIOPIA; GODE HOSPITAL, GODE, SHABELLE ZONE, SOMALI REGION, ETHIOPIA

SHOTLIST:
1. Wide shot, Gode, Somali Region: Camels walking in the bush with boy following.
2. Wide shot, Higlo IDP Camp: Girl running in IDP camp with IDP tents around her.
3. Wide shot, Higlo IDP Camp: Women sitting under a tree with IDP tents in background.
4. Wide shot, Higlo IDP Camp. UNICEF Executive Director, Catherine Russell and UNICEF staff walking through IDP camp
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Catherine Russell, UNICEF Executive Director:
“I am here in the Horn of Africa where the consequences of the severe drought in three years of poor rains are really having a terrible impact on children. We are estimating 10 million children are in need of life-saving support and at this point, 1.7 million children are requiring something we call, because, they have severe acute malnutrition which is the most serious form of malnutrition, and we are treating them and treating as many as we can.”
6. Wide shot, Higlo IDP Camp: UNICEF Executive Director sitting in UNICEF supported child friendly space (CFS) interacting with IDP child and mother and IDP drought displaced women.
7. Med shot, Higlo IDP Camp: UNICEF Executive Director interacting with drought displaced children in UNICEF supported child friendly space
8. Close up, Higlo IDP Camp: Close of IDP drought displaced child’s hands playing with lego type toys in UNICEF supported child friendly space.
9. Med shot, Higlo IDP Camp: Young girl in child friendly space with young children playing in the background.
10. Med shot, Higlo IDP Camp: IDP drought displaced children playing with toys in child friendly space tent.
11. Various shots, Higlo IDP Camp: UNICEF Executive Director and staff interacting with IDP displaced women.
12. SOUNDBITE (English) Catherine Russell, UNICEF Executive Director:
“The challenge here is that the needs are so much greater than what we are able to address at this point and we don’t know yet how bad it is going to get but we do know for sure that many children are already suffering, are very much in need, their mothers are in need and you can see it when you talk to them. The mothers are so concerned, worried about what is happening to their children, but you know we need more resources, we need to get more feeding to these children if we want to really avert a very serious and terrible problem here.”
13. Various shots, drought displaced woman, Faduma Shal Dahir:
14. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Faduma Shal Dahir, displaced by drought:
“I lost all the 70 goats and got displaced. My relatives told me to come here; there is water available so I came. I came here. We got water and our situation has improved. We came here empty handed. One of our relatives shared with us their food aid. We survived on that and we also got water. Thanks to Allah, we have come out of the hardship.”
15. Wide shot, Higlo IDP Camp: UNICEF nutrition and health tent with drought displaced women and babies queuing up to receive nutrition screening and medical assessments.
16. Med shot, Higlo IDP Camp: Drought displaced women and babies queuing up to receive nutrition screening and medical assessments.
17. Med shot, Higlo IDP Camp: Zooming into UNICEF nutrition and health tent which provides screening and treatment for malnourished children and mothers and other medical assistance.
18. Med shot, Higlo IDP Camp: UNICEF Executive Director interacting with baby and mother in UNICEF nutrition and health tent.
19. Various shots, Higlo IDP Camp: Mother holding baby inside UNICEF nutrition and health tent.
20. Close up, Higlo IDP Camp: Health worker screening baby being held by her mother (MUAC tape measure) for malnutrition in UNICEF nutrition and health tent
21. Close up, Higlo IDP Camp: Mother feeding baby ready-to-use therapeutic food in UNICEF nutrition and health tent
22. Wide shot, Gode Hospital: Mothers and severely malnourished babies in UNICEF supported stabilization ward
23. Med shot, Gode Hospital. Mother feeding her severely malnourished baby in UNICEF supported stabilization ward
24. Wide shot, Higlo IDP Camp: Mothers and children walking with jerry cans to UNICEF supported water point
25. Med shot, Higlo IDP Camp: IDP drought displaced woman filling a jerry can with water at water point with children around her
26. Med shot, Higlo IDP Camp: Drought displaced young girl walking with IDP tents behind her

STORYLINE:
At the end of a four-day visit to Ethiopia, UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell urged the international community to immediately scale up support to avert a humanitarian catastrophe due to the drought in Ethiopia and the rest of the Horn of Africa.

“The impact of the drought in Ethiopia is devastating,” said Ms. Russell. “In Somali region, one of the worst hit drought areas in the country, I met children and families who have literally lost everything. Their livestock have died and as a result they have no source of income. They cannot feed their children and are on the move in search of food and water. We need to reach these families now before it is too late.”

Due to three failed consecutive rainy seasons, four countries across the Horn of Africa are experiencing one of the worst droughts in decades. Overall, in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia, 10 million children need urgent life-saving support. The drought is pushing up malnutrition for children and their families at an alarming rate. Overall, 1.7 million children are severely malnourished across the subregion.

In Ethiopia, admission rates for treatment of severe acute malnutrition for children under 5, in drought affected areas, was 15 per cent higher in February 2022 compared to February 2021.

“Not only are we facing a malnutrition crisis, the lack of clean water is also further exacerbating the situation of children and women,” said Ms. Russell. “Children are forced to drink contaminated water, and this puts them at risk of cholera and other killer diseases. In Somali region, we have had reports of over 1,000 cases of measles with 16 confirmed deaths.”

But it is not only malnutrition and disease that are threatening the lives of children. Over 600,000 children in drought hit regions have dropped out of school as a result of the drought. Schools have shut due to lack of water, and many children drop out because they have to travel long distances in search of food and water, or to look after other children while their caregivers try and find water for their families and cattle.

“Travelling long distances exposes children to many risks, including child marriage,” said Ms. Russell. “Child marriage often increases in times of drought as families marry off their daughters in the hope that they will be better fed and protected, as well as to earn dowries. In some drought-hit areas in Ethiopia, there has been a 51 per cent increase in child marriage.”

In response, UNICEF Ethiopia is targeting an estimated 3.4 million people, including 1.4 million children, as part of our immediate response. UNICEF is rehabilitating and installing boreholes, emergency water trucking, treating severely malnourished children and providing education and child protection support. UNICEF is also investing in climate-resilient solar powered water systems for long-term sustainable solutions.

“While we appreciate the generous support of donors, we must do more to save the lives of millions of children,” said Ms. Russell. “We have to remember that behind every statistic, there is a child with the same hopes and dreams as children everywhere – and the same right to reach their full potential.”

Ms. Russell also met with Government officials including Ethiopian President SahleWork Zwede and Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Demeke Mekonnen Hassen. During both meetings, Ms. Russell discussed the long-standing partnership with UNICEF and the Government and how to further strengthen the joint response to the drought and invest in resilience building.
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UNICEF
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unifeed220428h
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2732718