Ethiopia’s worst drought threatens ‘deadly consequences’ for women

© UNFPA Ethiopia/Paula Seijo Climate shocks and extreme weather are fuelling mass displacement and driving up humanitarian needs across the Horn of Africa.

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).

A family in Somali region of Ethiopia build a temporary house after fleeing home: By UNFPA/Ethiopia Paula Keijo

More than 286,000 people have been driven from their homes in the 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 labour 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.

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