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Published on 6 December 2023
Written by Jo Dallas

As world leaders discuss loss and damage at the critical United Nations climate talks in Dubai (COP28), Christian Aid has been awarded £250,000 by the Scottish Government to address the impacts of loss and damage in Dasenech, South Omo in southern Ethiopia.

Ethiopia is one of the country's most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Recent years have seen a devastating cycle of severe drought and heavy rains, pushing vulnerable communities to their limit.

It has meant homes, livelihoods, critical infrastructure and livestock have been destroyed. The people of Dasenech have told us this is impacting mental health and increasing a sense of hopelessness as they face a bombardment of humanitarian challenges.

'Loss and damage’ is a term used in UN climate talks to refer to the consequences of climate change that go beyond what people can adapt to; like when extreme droughts turn farmland into dust. 

Image credits and information i
More flooding has hit Dasenech following heavy rains Credit: South Omo Disaster Risk Management Office
Dasenech flooding
More flooding has hit Dasenech following heavy rains

The climate crisis is affecting vulnerable communities around the world. People are losing their homes and livelihoods right now.

Some of the loss and damage that's occurring can be measured in economic terms, such as impacts on farming or tourism - but the loss of lives or the trauma of losing your home is much harder to quantify, and even more devastating.

After listening to the urgent needs of the communities the Scottish Government funding will be used, through local partners, in several ways including to carry out repairs to damaged infrastructure like boreholes, re-training and job creation projects, much needed psychosocial support for communities feeling traumatised and a veterinary programme to boost the health of livestock (thousands of animals have died due to the extreme weather and lack of food).

The funding is timely as the area once again has been hit by heavy rains, prompting a new wave of humanitarian challenges.

Christian Aid's Ethiopia Country Director welcomes loss and damage funding

The funding is coming from the Scottish Government's Humanitarian Emergency Fund and Christian Aid is one of 4 international development agencies to take a share of the £1 million allocation, in an announcement that was originally made during New York Climate Week and confirmed during COP28 in Dubai.

It is the first time, that we know of, that loss and damage funding has been dispersed through a humanitarian framework in this way. These projects will address the disproportionate impact of climate change on women and marginalised groups, and local communities will be involved in each step of project design and delivery.

- Màiri McAllan, Net Zero Secretary .
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