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ActionAid Ethiopia Distributes Food in Drought-hit Wejerat, Tigray

Meresaeta with the food grain to be distributes.

February 20, 2024, Wejerat, Tigray

Wejerat is one of the hardest drought-hit districts in Tigray, Northern Ethiopia.  Almost all the 88,864 people living in the district have become aid-dependents after they faced total loss of crops because of drought in 2022-2023 harvest year. As the need of life saving support is immense, AAE has made it to reach 2840 (1977 Females) right holders in three Kebeles/neighbourhoods (Tsehafti, Adimesno and Adikeyih). From the total targeted households, 43 were lactating mothers,18 pregnant, 53(30 Females) orphans, 291(214 female) people with disability, and 798 (690 Female) elders. 

Abided by its Humanitarian Signature, i.e., accountability, transparency, women and young people leadership, ActionAid trained 32 (29 female) targeting and appeal hearing committee members for the humanitarian response management. These committee members were also eligible to get the humanitarian support as they were also in desperate situation. Meresaeta was among them. She was targeted in the humanitarian support based on the project criteria and she has also become voice for other physically impaired people in her Kebele.

The support included 1,280 quintals of maize and 12,840 litres of edible oil.. The donating partners for this response were ActionAid UK through players of post code lottery (PPL) and ActionAid Sweden through International Humanitarian Action and Resilience Team (IHART) of ActionAid International.

Meresaeta, aged 26, is one of the targeting committee members from Tsehafti Kebele representing the people with physical impairment. She heads a household of 3 females. She doesn’t own land and lives on local café business. She explains the process of the humanitarian response:

“I have been to other projects with similar supports, but this response was the most I liked by many standards. First, the project was transparent from the start, as we were trained on the approach, criteria, and allocated resources. Second, the process was managed by women leadership. The third and the most I was impressed about was the inclusion of people with disabilities in the targeting committee. It is through this project I have ever participated in targeting representing people with disability in our Kebele.” 

Meresaeta was selected for the support because she was unable to feed her two daughters. Her father used to help her in good times by sharing grains from his farm which has now run dry due to the drought.

‘‘I was selected as I was in dire condition.  In general, the community and the district’s stakeholders were happy because the whole process was led by women and young people. I used to afford the expenses of my family with my café business, but this year the customers could not afford to pay for the coffee, tea and soda drinks I sell as their income has turned nil due to the drought.  

I have received maize and edible oil enough to feed my family for 3 months. With out this support I can’t imagine how desperate would be the life of my household. Hence, I would like to heartfully thank ActionAid for reaching me in this difficult time,” she concluded.