An update to Street Child’s groundbreaking Ebola Orphan report has highlighted the critical situation of the poorest Ebola-struck farming communities in Sierra Leone.
It is clear that many of the poorest farmers have little or no seed to sow this present planting season after Ebola disrupted harvesting and access to markets last Autumn. After the rains begin in mid-May, planting becomes impossible.
The rainy season is traditionally known as the hunger season. However, as our update documents, the most vulnerable, including many Ebola orphans, are dangerously hungry already, before it has even begun. Add to this the risk of no harvest to look forward to and the potential consequences are awful.
Street Child CEOs, Tom Dannatt (UK) and Kelfa Kargbo (SL), issued the following joint statement:
“This is an incredibly worrying situation. It is very late but it is not yet too late.
We urge large organisations on the ground in Sierra Leone to act now. Give, or lend, farmers seed!
And we beg donor support to Street Child – big or small! We have a large rural distribution network capable of making a big difference – now.
If we can put seed in the hand of farmers before mid-May, they can still get it into the ground in time to have a harvest to look forward to in October.
These families can then have a chance of feeding themselves and even the hope of ‘extras’ such as affording school costs for their children.
In the week that schools have re-opened, we never thought we would have a bigger short-term focus than getting children back into education. But for the next three weeks, we are going to do everything we can on this issue as our priority. Because once the window is gone, it is gone – and the consequences are so significant. We are especially determined to see every orphan family that needs seed supported; that is the least we can do. But, to be honest, that is only the tip of this wider issue”.
To read the full update report – click here.
To read the original orphan report – click here.