(by Andegna Tube) The European Commission announced a €3 million grant to the UN Agency UNICEF to improve the nutrition for severely malnourished children in the drought affected areas in Ethiopia in an aims to strengthen the current emergency response and reach an estimated 40,000 Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) children.
The grand made on Monday is to help provide supplies of 40,000 boxes of Ready-to-use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) and 19,700 packs of amoxicillin. The funds will also support one round of Extended Outreach Strategy (EOS) screening which provides biannual vitamin A supplementation and de-worming to children under 5 years of age. Screening for acute malnutrition for children and pregnant and lactating women will also be covered, said UNICEF in statement.
“The El Niño phenomenon is impacting entire regions in Africa, notably Ethiopia. The EU support will help UNICEF provide life-saving assistance to the most vulnerable. It will help more than a million children suffering from malnutrition get treatment," said Jean-Louis De Brouwer, Director of Operations in the European Commission's Humanitarian and Civil Protection department (ECHO).
“We are grateful to the EU for its continued support for life saving interventions addressing malnutrition in Ethiopia,” said Gillian Mellsop, UNICEF Representative to Ethiopia. “Children are always the most vulnerable group in emergencies but when support is made available, we can change their lives for the better,” added Gillian.
The EU funding targets close to half a million children under the age of five along with nearly 140, 000 pregnant and lactating women in the Somali region. UNICEF, at the request of the Government, is responsible for the procurement of supplies for Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) management as a key input to the emergency nutrition responses throughout the country. It also provides technical and financial support to ensure programme quality and coverage.
UNICEF said it is supporting the Government of Ethiopia in responding to the emergency by scaling up and strengthening the treatment of children with severe acute malnutrition, increasing the intensity and frequency of screening of children and pregnant and lactating women, and ensuring key preventative nutrition services are provided to prevent excess morbidity and mortality.
According to the revised Humanitarian Requirement Document (HRD), over 10.2 million people in need of food aid and estimated 435,000 in need of treatment for severe acute malnutrition by the end of 2016. This has significantly devastated livelihoods and greatly compromised the health and wellbeing of children and women, through malnutrition and hygiene-related diseases across Ethiopia with six regions hit particularly hard.
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