ONE spoke with CNEWA’s regional director for Ethiopia, Argaw Fantu, on the drought, the fear of famine and CNEWA’s own role in fighting hunger and malnutrition.
The next rain is uncertain. And if people harvest nothing due to prolonged rain shortages, no grain will be available for the coming three to four months.
In the most vulnerable schools supported by CNEWA in the Eparchy of Adigrat, children receive nutritious biscuits as supplements. Should that supply dwindle, schools would certainly lose many children. If the next wet season — from March to July — does not bring rain, we could very well have famine.
Other than school feeding programs, people only have food supplied by the government and larger international aid organizations on which to rely.
Since 2013, CNEWA has supported more than 8,000 children in 24 Catholic schools with its food programs. These schools are mostly in areas characterized by erratic rainfall and rocky, mountainous terrain.
But now, due to the widespread lack of rain, tens of thousands of school children in the Adigrat area are threatened with malnourishment.
Thus, school feeding programs are more needed than ever before.
CNEWA is not an emergency relief organization, and it lacks the resources of such organizations to mobilize a large-scale remediation of famine. But, as an agency of the Holy See, CNEWA helps the poor of Ethiopia in its abiding and consistent support of the many social service institutions of the Ethiopian churches. For decades, CNEWA has nourished little souls by satisfying their stomachs, reducing school dropout rates and enabling children to complete their education successfully, even during food shortage years.
To help feed more children and their families, call: 1-800-442-6392 (United States) or 1-866-322-4441 (Canada).