Every country is seeking to mitigate the direct and indirect damage inflicted by COVID-19 on its people.
For millions of families in Ethiopia, the COVID-19 pandemic is adding to an already challenging situation. According to a recent article by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the number of people living below the poverty line is now expected to increase to 31 million people in the fiscal year 2020-2021 from 26 million people in 2019-2020.
Just like here in the United States, the citizens of Ethiopia are experiencing fears of getting COVID-19. They are even refraining from gathering with neighbors around the coffee ceremony they dearly love and the sweet incense that often accompanies the ceremony.
Ethiopian society also pays immense respect to the deceased. Before COVID, it is normal for hundreds of people to gather to attend a burial. Grieving also normally lasts three days and close family members and neighbors will continue to gather at the deceased home for weeks. Because of COVID, the cultural grieving process is not possible or is being done with fear of catching the virus.
According to the Ministry of Health, the government body responsible for the country’s health sector, the current caseload as of August 25, 2020 stands at 27,181 with 709 deaths, while more than 15,796 people have recovered. The majority of cases are being reported in the capital, Addis Ababa, where Addis Jemari is located.
The effects of COVID on our FEP families are visible in that children cannot go to school or play freely with their friends in the neighborhood. More than ever, it is harder for mothers to earn some income as they used to through selling vegetables on the roadside or washing clothes by going to people’s houses. On top of these, the cost of food is spiking.
So far, we were able to support our families through the COVID-19 Relief Fund we received from our generous donors. And we are grateful for our donors!
But, without continuing our support, it will be hard for the families to cope because they have to choose eating once in a day or skipping a day without any food. If we keep sustaining these families, the effort we have made so far in helping them to come out of extreme economic hardship can be sustained.
We still need to continue our COVID-19 relief efforts to keep our families out of even harder circumstances they might face due to COVID-19. This fund covers emergency food and hygiene supplies for each family with a cost of $50 per family for September. That’s a total of $2500 we need to send to Ethiopia in addition to our normal budget. Will you help us? Please visit www.addisjemari.org/donate to give to our Covid-19 Relief Fund. Any amount will help immensely. Thanks for your consideration!