MSF teams in the Oromiya and Southern Nations and Nationalities People’s regions (SNNPR) of southern Ethiopia have cared for up to 6,500 severely malnourished children. Since May 13, MSF activities have been scaled up in order to respond to the alarming nutritional situation observed in the areas where MSF teams work. Oromiya Region Three stabilization centres set up in Shashemane, Senbete Shinquille, and Ropi provide 24-hour medical care to severely malnourished children suffering from complications such as malaria or pneumonia.

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) today called on G8 leaders who will gather next week in Japan to take bold decisions to adequately finance food aid and nutrition programs directed at young children. With the malnutrition crisis contributing to three to five million child deaths annually, the summit must commit to providing funds for new and effective strategies to address malnutrition. At the G8 summit in Japan in 2000, world leaders showed that they could stimulate concrete change by creating the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

On 20 May, MSF set up a stabilisation centre in the Shashemene region of southern Ethiopia to provide 24 hour medical care to children suffering from complicated severe malnutrition. Within days the centre had admitted over 200 children. Here some of their caretakers describe the difficulties of the last few months.

Unable to respond to the medical needs of people affected by the internal conflict in Ethiopia’s Somali Region, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has decided to stop its activities and withdraw from the Fiiq area where it started giving assistance in December 2007. Since April 2007, increasing violence and economic blockades linked to the conflict between the Ethiopian authorities and opposition movements have had critical repercussions for the civilian population. Their situation is further worsened by the ongoing drought.

Sunday, July 13, 2008.

They’re sitting side by side on one of the blue mattresses in the MSF stabilization centre in Kuyera in the Oromiya region. Sheleme and Kutuba are twin sisters. Their tiny four-year-old frames are dressed in identical flower-print dresses.

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is witnessing a deteriorating humanitarian situation around the town of Wardher, in the Somali Region of eastern Ethiopia. Internally displaced people (IDPs) are gathering in the thousands on the town’s outskirts, in search of food and water. An estimated eight to ten thousand people are currently living in squalid conditions — under makeshift shelters, with limited access to water and no sanitation, and surrounded by the carcasses of dead animals.

Since mid-May, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has been responding to an acute nutritional crisis in southern Ethiopia. Even though the teams were recently able to reduce the activities, recent assessments have led MSF to launch new interventions in places which had still received no aid. This is the case for Dodola, in the south of the Oromiya region. Dr. Sarah Temmerman, who coordinates the emergency nutritional intervention, tells us about it.

A year and half ago, the chronic conflict in Ethiopia’s Somali Region scaled up dramatically, exposing civilians to increased violence – including, reportedly, execution and rape – and causing widespread displacement and loss of livelihood. Compounding matters, this year’s drought has pushed large numbers of already vulnerable people to the edge of survival. “It is the worst drought in the last 30 years,” a Somali-Ethiopian man told the Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) team in Wardher, a town in eastern Somali Region.

MSF assisting survivors of journey in smuggler boats