Addis Abeba — UNICEF said it has received 500,000 Euros from the Government of France towards this year's emergency nutrition response plan for Ethiopia.
The donation comes as the nutrition situation in emergency hotspot districts remains critical, it said in a statement.
"Today's contribution will be used to procure 95 tons of ready-to-use-therapeutic-foods and drugs for the treatment of around 10,000 severely malnourished children in 15 drought-affected districts of Ethiopia. It will also support the training of health workers to treat severe acute malnutrition at the community level. UNICEF is supporting the Government of Ethiopia to implement the national strategy to expand community level therapeutic feeding programmes throughout the country."
Approximately 62,000 under-five children in hot-spot districts received treatment for severe acute malnutrition during the first half of 2009, UNICEF said adding that Therapeutic feeding admission trends for children with severe acute malnutrition are increasing and there are growing concerns about the impact of relief food shortfalls on already vulnerable children. As therapeutic feeding programmes reach more hot-spot districts the number of severely malnourished children receiving treatment will increase.
"Malnutrition is an underlying factor in over half of under-five child deaths in Ethiopia, and children with severe acute malnutrition face a 30-50 per cent chance of dying unless treated.Today's French contribution is critical for meeting the immediate emergency nutrition needs of vulnerable children through a robust response that embraces all humanitarian actors, including NGOs." UNICEF said it is responding to emergency nutrition, health, water, sanitation, hygiene, education and protection needs in Ethiopia, with nutritional interventions using ready-to-use therapeutic foods and other life-saving medicines representing the bulk of its emergency response. It said it requires $52 million for its emergency response in 2009, including pre-positioning of supplies. To date, UNICEF has received $13.6 million.