ESAT News (February 21, 2017)
The UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund allocates US$18.5 million for Ethiopia’s fresh drought. The fund is allocated through the Rapid Response Window to address the most urgent life-saving needs of communities affected by the new drought in Ethiopia, the UN announced on Tuesday.
The fund is released to enable critical aid for more than 785,000 people suffering from hunger, malnutrition and severe water shortages in Ethiopia’s Somali region – the worst drought-stricken part of the country, according to the UN news service.
“I was recently in Ethiopia’s Somali region, where I saw the devastating impact this drought is having on people’s lives, livestock and livelihoods,” said UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O’Brien.
“Time lost means lives lost so I am releasing CERF funding to provide urgent aid to people in need – now – when they need it most.”
This latest drought struck Ethiopia before it could recover from the effects of a devastating El Niño-induced drought in 2015 and 2016 which left millions in urgent need of aid.
The UN however said the grant covers only a small portion of what is required in 2017 to address rising challenges. Furthermore, according to current estimates more than 5.6 million people in the country are in desperate need of basic necessities.
The drought caused by failed 2016 autumn rains has left some 5.6 million people dependent on emergency food assistance to meet their basic food needs this year. Ethiopia’s Humanitarian Requirements Document seeks $948 million to respond to food and non-food needs, of which $598 million is targeted for relief food, according to humanitarian sources.