UN raises $600 million for Ethiopia, falls short of target

Mekelle:  17 April 2024 (Tigray Herald)

UN raises $600 million for Ethiopia, falls short of target

Ethiopia High-level Pledging Event: Government of Ethiopia and International Partners Meet in Geneva to Boost Humanitarian Funding for Ethiopia

With the humanitarian situation in Ethiopia now critical, the Government of Ethiopia and international partners meet today in Geneva to raise international support as the country’s UN-backed $3.24 billion humanitarian response plan for 2024 remains less than 5 per cent funded.

The Governments of Ethiopia and the United Kingdom – together with the United Nations – are behind the event and hope to hear announcements that will boost the life-saving response to some 15.5 million people in 2024.

The emergency has been building up through cycles of droughts and floods, and conflict. Food insecurity and malnutrition is expected to peak at 10.8 million people during the July-September lean season. Some 4.5 million people have fled their homes and there is rising concern for the provision of public health and protection.

El Niño has exacerbated a drought in the northern highlands and millions of people are coping with less water, drier pastures and smaller harvests. Malnutrition rates in parts of Afar, Ahmara, Tigray and other regions are of great concern and continuing to worsen.

At the same time, years of conflict in Tigray and other regions have destroyed or damaged thousands of schools, health facilities, water systems and other community infrastructure.

The Government of Ethiopia recently endorsed a new National Policy and Strategy on Disaster Risk Management in recognition of the country’s vulnerability to different climatic and conflict-driven shocks. The Government has also committed $250 million for food support over coming months and further domestic resources have been dedicated to emergency response from regional governments and the Ethiopian private sector.

A well-coordinated response is already underway. The UN and humanitarian partners are backing the nationally led response to scale up life-saving assistance to 15.5 million people, and food aid to 10.4 million.

To fund the immediate response and ensure a pipeline of aid for the next five months, $1 billion is needed. The one-day conference is expected to contribute towards that target.

H.E Ambassador Taye Atske Selassie, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, said: “Addressing the impacts of climate change requires collective global responsibility. The Ethiopian Government has launched integrated policy initiatives to transform the country from climate-induced crisis to food self-sufficiency based on a peace-development-humanitarian nexus. Ethiopia is determined to end the cycle of food insecurity. We appreciate the continued support of our development partners for their solidarity and cooperation in support of our national development endeavours and for their response to humanitarian needs.”

UK Deputy Foreign Secretary Andrew Mitchell said: “The humanitarian crisis in Ethiopia is at a critical level. When I visited earlier this year, I saw first-hand how conflict and drought are devastating communities – with women and young children being the hardest hit.”

“The UK is doing it all it can to ensure communities most in need across Ethiopia have access to nutrition, healthcare, water and sanitation. The international community must act now if we are to avoid the humanitarian crisis escalating further.”

UN Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Joyce Msuya, said: “Today, the world must stand shoulder to shoulder with the people and Government of Ethiopia as they face challenging times ahead. Conflict and climate hazards have taken a merciless toll: families uprooted, children malnourished and out of school, and now, with the lean season at the door, the grim spectre of rising hunger. We must help them turn the tide, invest in people’s lives, futures, and wellbeing, and bolster their inherent strength in the face of adversity.”

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