Ethiopia finds itself grappling with heightened levels of insecurity, as internal tensions create a complex web of challenges for the nation’s stability. Additionally, in the wake of devastating floods caused by increasingly severe climate change impacts, the joint emergency response of the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and the European Union (EU) stands as a beacon of hope for families like Nurad Gulane Abdi’s. Nurad, a valiant farmer and dedicated caregiver to nine children, has been a testament to the spirit of resilience that characterizes communities affected by the global climate crisis.
Hailing from a region grappling with escalating climate challenges, Nurad battled through three years of crippling droughts that withered her crops and strained her livelihood. Yet, when the skies finally unleashed torrential rains, the parched earth was ill-prepared to absorb the rain, plunging her homestead into a watery abyss.
Describing the harrowing moments, Nurad recalls, “We screamed, and I held my children tightly. I did not think of carrying anything else with me. I just wanted to escape. We were transported over the water. Where we lived, the flood took over. I didn’t even know if I would survive.”
The IRC, a steadfast partner in humanitarian efforts, swiftly extended a lifeline to Nurad, providing her with vital cash assistance. This support enabled her to get food for her family.
Anfac Ibrahim, a herder, had to leave his home after a long time without seeing rain in Ethiopia. “We are in a lot of trouble. We used to take care of animals, but they all died because of the lack of rain. We never went to school. We depended on our animals, but now we have nothing left. The drought has taken everything away.” he says.
While moving to the new location, Burdhubo, it was very tough, he says. In the past, they used animals like donkeys and camels to carry their things, but those animals had died. So, they had to carry everything themselves, and it was very hard.
In Burdhubo camp, Anfac found thousands of people who had also fled their homes because of drought. “The IRC has been good to us. They gave us food like porridge. They gave us a lot, but we cannot keep it for a long time. We are still hungry. There is a disease outbreak around, but we don’t have money to buy medicine. We also want to leave the camp and find a new place where our children can go to school.” He says.
Sally Anyanga, IRC, East Africa Regional Communications Officer said, In Ethiopia, more than 31 million people have been affected by extreme drought, triggered by six consecutive below average rainy seasons. For Anfac and her family, the drought caused all of their livestock to perish, taking away their livelihood and their main source of food. Like many others, they were forced to leave their homes because they no longer had anything to eat. The IRC’s unwavering commitment has spanned over two decades, providing comprehensive support to refugee populations and vulnerable Ethiopian communities facing the complex interplay of climate-related challenges. Through a strategic partnership with the European Union and dedicated action, the IRC has disseminated cash aid and emergency supplies, prioritising the welfare of women and girls. Additionally, we have been dedicated to promoting health and hygiene by ensuring access to secure water and sanitation facilities.”
As Nurad Abdi’s and Anfac Ibrahim’s resilient journeys unfold, their narratives stand as testaments to the human spirit’s capacity to endure and overcome adversity. The IRC remains steadfast in its mission, actively strengthening individuals and communities, and fostering hope in times of crisis.
Since 2000, the IRC has provided a wide range of assistance for refugees living in camps and for Ethiopian communities throughout the country that have been affected by drought, flooding, food insecurity and conflicts. In strong partnership with civil society, we distribute cash and basic emergency supplies, and build and maintain safe water supply systems and sanitation facilities. The IRC also supports government partners and community workers in primary healthcare clinics, constructs classrooms and trains teachers and provides livelihoods-related training and job opportunities to youth and at-risk households. Learn more about the IRC’s Ethiopia response.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of International Rescue Committee (IRC) .