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El Nino: Aid helps malnourished children recover

Plan International is providing emergency aid to the areas worst affected by the El Niño-induced drought in Northern Ethiopia to help children suffering from malnutrition.

At least 10 million people in Ethiopia require food assistance due to a second year of failed rains as a result of the El Niño weather phenomenon. Although El Niño is over, the impact is still being felt across the country.

 I am not strong enough to provide for my children any more as there isn’t enough food to eat

Thnat is one of many people seeking help at a Plan International-supported food distribution centre. The centre helps families whose crops have been destroyed by supplying those in need with drought resistant seeds and emergency aid. The centre also supports pregnant women and young children who are suffering from malnutrition.

Emergency food supplies

Thnat and her granddaughter
Thnat's granddaughter was malnourished before receiving emergency aid.

“When the medical experts weighed my 9 month-old grandchild, they told me she was malnourished, that’s why I have been referred here,” says Thnat. “I am worried. I am not strong enough to provide for my children any more as there isn’t enough food to eat. If I get any weaker I won’t be able to support them. Although we get food and milk from the government, the drought has made things worse.”

Thnat is on an outpatient therapeutic programme provided by Plan International Ethiopia to help the thousands of children currently suffering with malnutrition. To date, Plan International has helped over 44,000 women and children under 5. Thnat says, “After visiting the centre my granddaughter was given an 8 week food supplement to combat her malnutrition.”

Plan International is also responding to the El Niño-induced drought by supporting communities with access to clean water, increasing their resilience against future droughts and by protecting children, especially girls, from violence.

Learn more about our global work on emergencies