Reaching out to those in need during Covid-19: Gebeyanesh’s Story

Tuesday 1 December 2020

Gebeyanesh, 32, is mother of three and her two children are twins. She currently lives with her husband and their three children in a small house that she rents for 1,000 Birr ($30) in Adama town of the Oromia Regional State. Gebeyanesh received two rounds of cash support of 4,000 birr in September and October 2020 that Save the Children through its emergency cash assistance program provided. With the cash, she was able to buy enough food for her children and pay her rent. 


She recounts her story in her words

Before we came here, we lived in a place called Harar. While we were there, my husband was engaged in business earning a good living, and our family was well off. However, three years ago, my husband lost the business and we moved here in search of a better life. 

After we come here, my husband supported the family with his earnings by working as a daily labourer in the town and I helped him with additional income from washing clothes and preparing food for people in the area. Now after Coronavirus, we cannot go out and work as we used to, so we are struggling to find food for our children. 

The Coronavirus has had a great impact on families, especially on those low-income families like us. Right now, we cannot even feed our children properly. Children are not like adults, they cannot stay long without food and they are more likely to starve and even die.      

I usually give my children Injera with potato stew (flat bread made from thin grain flour and potatoes sauce). Potato with meat is one of my children’s favourite food, but these days I cannot give it to them that because I cannot afford it.   

Right now, the price of food  and , meat in particular, has risen dramatically. For example, the price of one kilo of meat is about five hundred birr now. It was only 250 birr a couple of months ago. The price of other food items such as onion, tomato, cooking oil also has sharply increased and this makes it very difficult for us. 

I am very grateful to those who provided us with this support. It is difficult to imagine what our lives would be like without this support. 

When I receive the third round of financial support soon, I will use it to buy more food that could last for a month and with the small remaining money, I will buy some school materials and uniform for my twins who will start school this year. I want my children to grow-up and learn to live well. I do not want them to live my life. 

Save the Children, through the Emergency Food Assistance for Households affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic in Major Cities in Ethiopia project provides cash support to families whose livelihoods are impacted by the pandemic for the coming six months. Through the cash, support families will be able to purchase food to their families and use the remaining for other necessities. 

This project is funded by USAID with a total budget of nine million USD for six months. The project aims to increase household access and consumption of diverse nutritious food. The project will be implemented in six major cities in Ethiopia namely, Addis Abeba, Adama, Dire Dawa, Jigjiga, Hawassa and Bahirdar reaching 29,035 households (approximately 174,210 people). So far, the project reached 6040 households of the total 6151 target beneficiaries in Adama town of these more than 1,500 are internally displaced people.