Statement from our CEO in response to coronavirus in Ethiopia April 2020

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Dear Friends,

Now is an extremely uncertain time for countries in Africa.

It may seem like a strange time to be saying this. This is a time when countries like Italy are starting to show signs of the coronavirus easing and when Australia and New Zealand are beginning to flatten the curve.

But, right now, for countries like Ethiopia the worst is yet to come.

Researchers estimate that Africa may be four to six weeks behind Europe’s outbreak. They also forecast that African countries may be the hit the hardest by COVID-19. Many are asking: If Europe and America’s healthcare was overwhelmed, how on earth will Africa, with its high poverty and weak healthcare, cope?

I have been speaking with our field partners in Ethiopia about what the coronavirus means for them and how they are coping as they face the pandemic.

Ephrem Abraham, Director of Hospice Ethiopia, told me that while they have cancelled their day centre activities, his team have taken the decision to continue with their community program. Hospice Ethiopia work with people who are at the end of life and living in destitution. Without their support, these people’s pain would not be managed, their wounds untended, and they would be alone and isolated. Ephrem told me that his team are determined to continue their important work for as long as they can.

This is just one example of the dedication shown by the partners we work with in Ethiopia.

I want to assure you that we at Ethiopiaid are doubling down on our efforts to support our partners and ensure they have the funding they need to protect lives as the pandemic starts to hit Ethiopia.

In following the Australian health guidelines, my team is working from home as much as possible. This may mean that it takes a little longer to respond to your emails and letters, or to process and thank you for your generous donations. I hope you understand and I appreciate your patience.

You have my most heartfelt thanks for your continued care and compassion towards the poor and the vulnerable in Ethiopia. These are the people who will be hit the hardest by the coronavirus in Ethiopia. Thank you for being there for them.

My thoughts are with you and your loved ones. I hope you are managing as best as you can and are keeping safe. Take care. 

Ethiopiaid Australia CEO Sharon Elliott

Sharon Elliott
Ethiopiaid Australia

Hospice Ethiopia staff on a home visit in Addis Ababa
Hospice Ethiopia staff on a home visit in Addis Ababa