Transforming lives in Ethiopia

Adapting Aid

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Trusted partnerships saving lives.

Saving lives in times of crisis and emergency requires us to make quick decisions and have access to immediate funds. Our approach of working with trusted local partners means this vital aid can quickly reach communities. It means that their emergency response can be revised, readjusted, and adapted to make sure it is reaching the people who really need it. It means help is provided by experts who really know the communities they are working alongside and so know how to support their recovery as sustainably and self-sufficiently as possible. We are committed to providing support for as long as we are needed. This means helping crisis-affected communities adapt to changing needs and standing with them for the future.

Adapting aid to reach the people who need it most.

The Wings of Healing team have been delivering vital food and medical care to people who have been displaced from their homes by conflict and are now living in camps. Initially, they were distributing sacks of grain to malnourished pregnant women and new mothers, who they had identified as in danger of slipping into severe malnutrition.

From monitoring the project, they realised that the women weren’t always able to prepare the grain as it should be to get the full nutritional benefit. Or, in some cases, the food was simply being shared with other family members or neighbours in the crowded tents that women are currently having to call home. Some of the women were also selling part of the food, in order to be able to afford other essentials. This meant that these women and children, who were acutely malnourished, were not fully benefiting from the support for which they had been identified in the first place.

Women and their babies who have been displaced in Ethiopia, sitting together in a large temporary tent for aid.

By following its progress closely, the team were able to adapt their project. They are now preparing the food and bringing the women and children together to eat, so they know that they are getting the nutrition they need to build back their strength.

Communities taking the lead.

In the Afar region, our partner APDA continues to work closely with the communities they support. Communities who have faced multiple crises. People who have lost loved ones to the terrors of conflict, who have had their homes destroyed, and had to witness the devastation of their livelihoods that they were unable to save from drought and disease. Families who have been displaced from their homes and cannot provide enough food for their children.

APDA have been able to reach people on the frontline of these crises, in areas where other NGOs and agencies have not been able to reach, for fear of security and the remote locations.

In addition to screening for malnutrition and distributing life-saving food directly to people who need it, thanks to your support, APDA have been able to pilot a recovery project. As a local organisation in the heart of the communities they work alongside, the APDA team know that livelihoods which have been ruined by conflict can be revived.

To restart the local markets, they have trained women in microfinance, helping them to start up small businesses. They have established cooperatives, giving community herders an outlet to sell their goats locally, and they have trained paravets to restart work caring for the communities’ livestock.

“The project is indeed putting the market into the hands of Afar, moreover Afar women”

Not only are they restarting the market trading in the district and reducing reliance on imported food staples, but they are also improving the range of locally-grown foods and building stronger community involvement by targeting mostly women.

“These women are changing the face of Tuesday’s market in Yallo by selling various goods in an environment where Afar women were not before seen as active.”

They are assessing their recovery project, to keep track of the extent to which the community are taking control of the market themselves. Their community-centred approach is helping people rebuild their livelihoods and making them as sustainable as possible through the formation of cooperatives and networks.

The care that our partners are providing is saving lives every day. Together, we can make a difference.

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