Emergency response in the Oromiya region

Providing for the health and nutritional needs of people affected by the extreme drought in the Borena area


Southern Ethiopia is experiencing an unprecedented prolonged drought. In the arid Borena zone, located in the Oromiya region, conditions are extreme and pastoral communities are particularly hard hit. Tens of thousands of households have lost their livestock and therefore their source of income, and tens of thousands more are internally displaced and living in camps. Heavy flooding in the spring of 2023 damaged many water points and triggered a cholera epidemic.

With the financial support of the MAEE, we are supporting SOS Children’s Villages in Ethiopia and its partners, in particular the NGO Gayo Pastoral Development Initiative, in a project starting this summer 2023 in the South in the Oromiya region (Borena zone, Yabello woreda) to meet the health and nutritional needs of vulnerable populations affected by the drought. Initially, the aim is to build the capacity of the health services to control the spread of the cholera epidemic and the high prevalence of malnutrition.


1st July 2023 – 30th June 2024 (first phase)


30,461 people affected by the food crisis, primarily children under 5, pregnant or breast-feeding women and the elderly.

  • 3,633 children under 5 suffering from moderate acute malnutrition and requiring treatment
  • 590 children under 5 suffering from severe acute malnutrition and requiring treatment
  • 26,238 pregnant or breast-feeding women suffering from acute malnutrition and requiring treatment


Carte localisations des villages SOS en Ethiopie


The aim of the first phase is to build capacity and fill gaps in health services to enable them to control the spread of the cholera epidemic and the high prevalence of malnutrition among pregnant and breastfeeding women, the elderly and children under 5.

In terms of nutrition, this involves stepping up the implementation of therapeutic nutritional treatment in health posts and centres, using the integrated management approach to acute malnutrition, setting up a maternal and child nutrition intervention to be able to offer preventive services, providing technical and logistical services to the Yabello health centre and covering the hard-to-reach areas of Woreda with mobile health and nutrition services.

In terms of capacity building (technical, logistical and financial), the aim is to enable the Yabello health centre to perform its role more effectively and, first and foremost, to contain the spread of cholera and measles epidemics and to help reduce malnutrition rates, with the emphasis on raising people’s awareness of the need to use health facilities.

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