Woynshet is a 35-year-old mother of three. She and her family live in Ethiopia’s Amhara region, which has experienced four failed rainy seasons—contributing to an extended and severe drought. Adding to the difficult conditions, an infestation of desert locusts in 2020—the worst in Ethiopia in 25 years, according to the UNFAO—devastated farmers’ crops, causing extreme damage with a long-lasting impact on food supply.
The locusts destroyed Woynshet’s crops, leaving her family without food or a source of income. Hoping to provide for her family, she tried working as a day laborer, “but the money was too little to feed my family,” she said.
Then one day, the local agriculture expert brought good news. “He told me that I was selected to benefit from IOCC’s cash support. I was very happy, and when I received the money, I immediately bought some food for my family.”
Now able to feed her children, Woynshet invested the rest of her money back into her farm. She bought improved seed and fertilizer for her mung bean crop. She hired laborers to plow her land. And her mung beans—intermixed with sorghum—are growing well and are expected to provide a good yield.
Woynshet is very grateful to IOCC. “If it weren’t for IOCC’s support,” she said, “I could not have produced this crop. Now I am very happy and satisfied when I visit my crop. My kids will not be hungry and will be able to attend their lessons properly.”
Woynshet’s family was one of more than 600 households who received support through IOCC’s desert locust response and resilience project, enabling these families to buy what they need when they need it. In addition, IOCC delivered crop and vegetable seeds to nearly 500 households. Six communities that had suffered from the locust infestations received fruit tree seedlings, small banana trees, and seeds for forage trees and grass.
IOCC has been active in Ethiopia since 2003, providing support in the Tigray and Amhara regions, and helping to treat and educate Ethiopians facing podoconiosis. As needs continue, so the work grows to help families and communities build resilience for the future.