IRC Delivers Emergency Supplies to Flood-stricken Area of Ethiopia
“IRC has been responding to this kind of emergency all over Ethiopia,” says David Murphy, IRC's Ethiopia county director. “We know that fast, effective response is key to easing the suffering and preserving the dignity of those who have lost everything.”
The IRC chartered an Ethiopian Airlines cargo plane to deliver the bulk of the items, over 30 metric tons, on Monday and Wednesday. Six metric tons were transported free-of-charge by the US Air Force on Sunday.
The IRC is now working with partner nongovernmental organizations and the regional government to distribute the items. Rain continues to fall in the area, making it impossible to reach those most severely affected by road. IRC staff on the ground hope that the rains will hold off long enough to allow distribution over the weekend.
Just under two weeks ago, heavy rains in Gode caused the Shilabo River to flood, destroying the homes and livelihoods of communities living along the banks. The Somali Regional government estimates that 360,000 people have been affected by the flooding. Sixty-seven deaths have been reported to date.
The IRC's emergency relief efforts in Ethiopia are funded by the United States Agency for International Development's Office for Foreign Disaster Relief (USAID-OFDA). Representatives from both USAID and OFDA were at the airport in Addis Ababa.
“We’ve set up this fund so that IRC can react immediately in emergency situations like the flooding in Gode,” says John Augsburger, senior program officer at OFDA. “We want to make sure that the people who need help get it right away.”
Since August, the IRC has provided emergency relief to flooding victims in the South Omo, Dire Dawa and Bahir Dar regions.