So bear with me for a moment. I’ll get to the goats. I’m sure you’ve heard of ElNiño. But did you know that the effects are global and widespread? The weather system wreaking havoc and creating droughts and floods. Here’s what the US Embassy in Ethiopia reported as of August 30.
Ethiopia is facing one of the worst droughts the country has seen in decades. Triggered by El Niño, the drought is having a significant impact by limiting agricultural production, straining livelihoods, and exacerbating food insecurity among poor and vulnerable households.
…Ethiopia is likely to experience significant rainfall that generates intense flooding in various parts of the country, which will further deteriorate humanitarian conditions for populations already vulnerable due to extended drought conditions across much of central, eastern, and northern Ethiopia. Humanitarian conditions are expected to worsen from June to September 2016 during the height of the lean season.
The number of people needing relief food assistance: 10.2 million.
And it’s not okay that people are suffering from hunger.
Food for the Hungry (FH) often works with USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) to help provide relief and development in these kinds of crisis situations. Right now OFDA has granted FH funding to help our team on the ground in Ethiopia to respond to the food crisis. And that’s where the goats come in.
Goats are silly-looking and silly-sounding and … well, even Jesus, in Matthew 25, talks about separating “the sheep from the goats.” And who are the “good guys”? Not the goats.
But there’s a radically different truth about goats: they save lives.
In spite of their reputation for butting heads and eating absolutely anything, these animals are fantastic machines. They can survive in brutal climates, they require very little care, their milk and meat are nutritious, and they reproduce quickly. Goats are tough. They’re the perfect animal for people struggling to recover from devastating drought.