Medecins Sans Frontieres / Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has launched an emergency response in the Gedeo area of the Southern Nations in Ethiopia in order to immediately scale up their support for internally displaced people (IDPs) in the various camps in the area.
MSF is bothered and worried for the welfare of tens of thousands of vulnerable people displaced in southern Ethiopia, following an assessment that disclosed alarming findings about their nutritional status, living in a very poor conditions and restricted availability of safe drinking water.
MSF teams found rates of severe acute and global acute malnutrition to be well above the emergency threshold.
While they were not part of the assessment, MSF also saw a high number of malnourished pregnant women.
MSF field coordinator in Gedeo, Markus Boening, said, “We saw an immediate need to scale up the response for the treatment of malnourished children, as the few facilities in the area were completely overwhelmed and could not offer the specialised care needed for children with complications.”
MSF teams are now supporting the Regional Health Bureau with a focus on nutrition.
MSF’s response will grow in the coming days to include improving the water and sanitation conditions in some of the IDP camps and informal settlements, including growing the access to clean water supplies and latrines.
Assessments are on-going to identify further gaps in the provision of nutritional support and healthcare, but medical services alone cannot solve the multiple needs of this distressed population.
Morchid, said, “It is also important that people can move freely and safely to reach humanitarian aid, not only in Gedeo but also in other regions of Ethiopia with internally displaced people.”