Ethiopia: UN and partners launch 90-day campaign to boost drought-relief funding
Posted by Tendai Mugani on March 29, 2016 10:25 AM SAST
Sorce and her son Abdallah, one year and 8 months, in the Oromia region of Ethiopia. Abdallah doesn't walk yet and is severely malnourished. Photo: OCHA/Charlotte Cans
24 March 2016 – To aid drought-affected people of Ethiopia, the United Nations and humanitarian partners have launched a 90-day campaign to raise awareness about the food crisis in the country and raise funds to bridge a $700 million gap.
“Ethiopia is currently contending with one of the most serious climatic shocks in recorded history with 10 million people facing lost harvests and livestock as well as severe water shortages and health risks,” said Ahunna Eziakonwa-Onuchie, UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Ethiopia.
Humanitarian needs in Ethiopia have reportedly tripled since the beginning of 2015 as the drought has led to successive crop failures and widespread livestock deaths. The drought is tied to one of the strongest El Niño events on record.
The drought response is not just about saving lives but also about protecting development gains which the Government and its development partners have worked tirelessly to build up over decades, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator added.
Out of the $1.4 billion appeal, the Ethiopian Government and the international community have contributed more than $758, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
“We need to rally urgently to protect the development gains of Ethiopia over the past decade and ensure the country remains on its remarkable development trajectory,” said Ms. Eziakonwa- Onuchie.
“Urgent and substantial investment in the humanitarian crisis response this year is the only way to ensure this and we must act now.”