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News: Ethiopia’s worst drought threatens ‘deadly consequences’ for women: UN

Akib Dahir, 27, arrived at the Gabi’as displacement camp with her eight children, after losing 180 goats and 15 camels to the drought. Her husband spends hours in the baking heat on an increasingly desperate hunt for pasture and water to keep their few remaining animals alive. “We are trying to save all we have,” she said. “The animals are almost worthless in the market. We can’t even feed our children.”
© UNFPA Ethiopia/Paula Seijo

Addis Abeba – Women and girls face “deadly consequences” in the Somali region of Ethiopia due to the worst drought conditions for forty years, according to the United Nations Population Fund, UNFPA.

More than 286,000 people have been driven from their homes in the Somali region after crops failed and animals died due to the drought and over 1100 schools are either fully or partially closed, leaving young girls especially vulnerable to sexual and physical violence and coercion, child labor and early marriage.

Women, children and survivors of gender-based violence have reduced access to a range of services including medical and reproductive care, support for newborns and their mothers as well as protection services.

The UNFPA 2022 Humanitarian Response Appeal for Ethiopia is calling for nearly $24 million to strengthen the health system and build back the capacities of maternal and reproductive services in eight crisis-affected regions. To date, just over half of the appeal has been funded.

Read more here about how UNFPA is providing emergency services to those most in need in the drought-stricken region.

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