Twelve fold increase in Ethiopia COVID-19 cases, severe weather and locusts creating massive need in Ethiopia, warns IRC

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COVID-19, flooding and the locusts outbreak are creating a humanitarian crisis in Ethiopia with many people unable to meet their daily food needs.  Recent heavy rainfall has led to flooding, resulting in destruction of crops, loss of livestock and displacement.  Swarms of multiplying desert locusts have also been destroying pastures and crops, leading to further food insecurity.  Some areas are recording admissions for severe acute malnutrition at 50% higher than for the same period last year.  A massive twelve fold increase in Covid-19 cases between June and September is further compounding needs as families have been unable to obtain income or access food due to movement restrictions. Ethiopia currently holds the highest Covid-19 caseload in East Africa.

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) is working to safeguard the lives of affected and at-risk communities from the COVID-19 pandemic by raising community awareness on COVID-19 risk factors, providing personal protective equipment, and building and installing water points to help people practice preventative methods. The IRC is assisting desert locust and flood-affected households with multi-purpose cash transfer and non-food items to fill food security gaps and provide relief.

Frank McManus, IRC Ethiopia Country Director says:

“The multiple issues of flooding, locusts, intercommunal violence and COVID-19 are highly concerning given the already massive humanitarian needs in the country.  The slowdown of the economy and lockdown restrictions mean that people have not been able to access income and there is an upward pressure on food prices.

“Over 19 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance in Ethiopia. At four times the number of people displaced in 2019, as a result of the flooding, more than 300,000 people have been displaced in 2020 and have had their homes and livelihoods lost or damaged.  A total of over 1 million people have been adversely affected by the floods overall. With the spread of COVID-19, people that have been displaced are amongst the most vulnerable due to the often congested living space, compromised health conditions, and inadequate access to basic services.  The IRC is providing essential support through distributions of  non-food items, including emergency shelter, household goods, hygiene kits, and cash assistance to over 36,500 affected people.”

“Despite the IRC’s work, the unmet humanitarian needs are still great. With more funding for our work, we will be able to reach even more people with the critical support they so desperately need after losing their homes and livelihoods.”

Ethiopia is one the poorest countries and has suffered decades of drought, intercommunal violence, disease outbreaks and flooding.  Whilst grappling with its own development and humanitarian needs, Ethiopia is also a major host country for refugees in the region.  In a highly complex humanitarian setting with seven million people who are acutely food insecure, IRC is working to ramp up support to those most in need.

The IRC has been working in Ethiopia since 1999 implementing emergency and development work in rural communities and 21 refugee camps, reaching over 3.2 million clients in FY18 through programs in environmental health, health, education, child protection, economic recovery and development, and women’s protection and empowerment in six regions across the country.

5 Comments

  1. In the war torn northwest Syria Coronavirus cases increased fourteen-folds in the past one month . In the past three months Syria’s Coronavirus cases increased twenty-folds making Syria the country with the highest Coronavirus infection rates in the world for the past three months.

    Ethiopia and Yemen tied second for having the second highest coronavirus infection rates of twelve-folds in the past three months with the city of Addis Ababa , Ethiopia alone recording CoronaVirus infection rate of eighteen folds in just the month of September 2020 making Addis Ababa the city with the highest coronavirus infection rate in the world for the month of September 2020.

  2. If these rate continues for another year Ethiopia will become the nation with the highest record number of deaths from Coronavirus in the world. Many displaced Ethiopians are resorting into going to neighboring countries and returning back to Ethiopia right away claiming to be foreigners refugees inorder to just get placed in the refugee camps within Ethiopia where their basic needs are met. It is estimated over half of the refugees who went into the refugee camps within Ethiopian refugee camps in the year 2020 are actually Ethiopians who claimed to be foreigners just to save their families lives by going into the refugee camps. The recent peace deal signed between the South Sudanese government and the freedom fighters in South Sudan is a big blow for those Ethiopians who claim to be South Sudanese needing to settle within the refugee camps in Ethiopia.

    The Globe Post
    Double Standards: Ethiopia Must Solve its Internal Displacement …

  3. Who are these Crisis Watch? Just look the words they used in the headline. ‘Twelve fold’ they said to tell us how the pandemic has increased in the old country. How did they arrive at that number? Except for a very few countries like Taiwan and New Zealand(both led by women) all other countries have shown an increase of thousands fold if you go by the number of cases during early March and now. What they refuse to tell us is the rate in percentage of recovery from the disease in that country. It was stuck in the 20’s percentage not too long ago but it is in the 43% range and that is a huge achievement considering the rudimentary status of the health care there. That number could have gone even higher if not for bigots throwing wrenches at every opportunity they got. They were sending their mobs into the streets destroying everything in sight. They even destroyed testing stations. These folks don’t talk about that. Yes, things in the old country are not that rosy. But all is not lost about her. An usual destructive heavy rains has killed tens and displaced thousands. Whose fault is that? Tens of thousands residents have been displaced in Portugal, Spain and France by heave rains and tens have died. Whose fault is that? The scale of hatred such as white supremacy and Neo-Nazists are increasing in every western nation even in Greece. Whose fault is that? The watchful eye of this group is appreciated and I hope they will continue to do that. But in doing so they should not toy with numbers just to fan an already tense environment. To use the phrase ‘Twelve fold increase’ is a randomly grabbed up misrepresentation. USA now more than 7 million cases which means it has gone up by 7 million from the first diagnosis in January. Spain has now over 630 thousand, France has over 530 thousand and Germany about 300 thousand cases. These folks in this group want to talk about the bad news only. They don’t talk about how the common men and women in the Oromia region are banding together across ethnic and religious lines to rebuild homes and properties destroyed by mobs incited by bigots. They don’t want to tell us about the Somali region. You can hear a pin drop with no intimidating ‘Liyu Police’ in sight. That is not in Essex County.

  4. Ethiopian authorities are too busy with sending sattelite into space but did not give priority to technologies needed to predict the arrival of desert locusts ahead of time. Without these prediction of the desert locustlps arrival then the desert locusts are not going to stay away from Ethiopia. They will show up each year , even if they are chased out they will return because unlike Ethiopia most if the other countries predict their arrival time and destroy breeding grounds before they arrive.
    If prediction was done then the Ethiopian government could have easily eliminated the breeding grounds before the desert locusts arrive. Drone technology is the ultimate solution , not planes or not vehicles. Planes and vehicles could be a temporary solution but without drone technology depending only on planes and vehicles is too ineffective and too costly. Depending on pesticides , on planes and on vehicles is just enriching the pesticide business people. Ethiopia need to know that the locusts should not touch the ground where they breed so they can fly out as it is done in India and Pakustan
    It is like playing volleyball or tennis.

    Mr. Minister
    PLANES , AUTOMOBILES , LABOR FORCE AND PESTICIDE ARE TOO COSTLY AND ARE NOT METHODS BRINGING A LASTING SOLUTION, THIS METHOD IS JUST SWEEPING THE PROBLEM UNDER THE RUG OR IN OTHER WORDS THIS METHOD IS WINDOW DRESSING THE PROBLEM BY WASTING RESOURCES WHILE OPENING CHANCE FOR CORRUPTION,.

    NOT TOO LONG AGO IN ETHIOPIA WE SEEN WATER BEING SPRAYED FROM PLANES LAST YEAR WHILE CLAIMING IT WAS PESTICIDE SO REPEATING THE SAME CRIME WILL NOT BE ACCEPTABLE WHILE WE ALL KNOW THE LOCUSTS ARE MAKING ETHIOPIA THEIR HONE THEY RETURN TO BECAUSE DRONE TECHNOLOGY ARE NOT USED TO CONDUCT SURVEYS AND CINTROLS.

  5. Just within the year 2013 Ethiopian calendar two airplanes that were “carrying pesticides” crashed in Ethiopia even though in both incidents none of the pilots were hurt. The “pesticides” they were carrying got wasted with one of the planea totally being destroyed during the crash while the second plane suffered minor damages.

    BBC amharic … 2020
    ኢትዮጵያ የአንበጣ መንጋን ለመቆጣጠር ምን ያህል አውሮፕላኖች አሏት?

    https://www.bbc.com/amharic/news-54495523

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