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Dublin dad-of-five who feeds 7 million people - every day

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Stephen Cahill in Ethiopia

Stephen Cahill in Ethiopia

Stephen Cahill in Ethiopia

MEET the Dublin dad whose basic job is to feed the seven million starving people in Ethiopia every day.

Stephen Cahill, a 49-year-old father-of-five, uses rivers, dirt tracks, roads and planes to get food to the African country's starving in his role as head of logistics for the World Food Programme.

"Not feeding people keeps me awake at night - it's really simple," he said.

He is the top rung of the ladder, in a country with a population of 85m people, in making sure that the hungry always get fed.

Mr Cahill, originally from Howth, moved his family out to Ethiopia three-and-a-half years ago.

container

"You pack up your whole life and you put it in a container and send it somewhere else.

"Wherever you are you adapt to it in the end - what you don't adapt to is your friends - you have to reinvent yourself every four years and that's extremely difficult, especially with your family," Mr Cahill said.

The Dubliner worked in logistics in the private sector up until ten years ago when he decided he wanted to make a difference in the world.

"Life is tough, work life is extremely tough, you do long hours and long days and there's always some emergency down in South Sudan," he said.

"We're feeding about seven million people here in Ethiopia so we do about 40,000 tonnes every month just transporting to very remote locations like the refugee camps," he added.

Yesterday, he met President Michael D Higgins in the refugee camp in Gambella, in Ethiopia which is home to around 200,000 people who have fled from the war in South Sudan.

formalities

As Mr Cahill addressed the President, he said there was no time for formalities.

There are a total of 650,000 refugees in Ethiopia and just 80c a-day is needed to make sure each of them are fed, he told the President.

hnews@herald.ie


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