December 9, 2017 (ADDIS ABABA) – The European Commission has announced a new emergency assistance of €15 million to help people facing increasingly dangerous levels of food insecurity in Ethiopia due to severe drought.
The donation, it brings to €91 million, the total EU humanitarian funding channeled to the Horn of Africa nation this year alone.
The support, the EU said in a statement issued on Friday, comes as the number of refugees arriving from neighbouring countries such as Eritrea, Somalia, and especially South Sudan is constantly increasing, as is the number of internally displaced people.
“Ethiopia is facing humanitarian crises on many sides – from those devastated by drought to the challenges brought by an upsurge in refugees from neighbouring countries. The EU is committed to support those in need in Ethiopia,” said the EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides.
“Our new aid will enable humanitarian organisations to step up emergency food assistance and the treatment of malnutrition,” he added.
The funding will also help address water supply, livestock protection, shelter and protection, notably for the increasing numbers of internally displaced people.
Due to consecutive low performing rain seasons, Ethiopia is facing the most critical levels of food and nutrition insecurity in 10 years, especially in its southern and south-eastern pastoral areas. The country reportedly hosts the second largest number of refugees in Africa, over 880 000, which generates mounting humanitarian needs.
The EU said it also provides development aid for Ethiopia worth €745 million over 2014-2020 through the European Development Fund.
Ethiopia is one of the countries that have been most affected by the El Niño phenomena. Also, the number of people needing emergency food assistance has now reached 8.5 million.
An estimated 3.6 million children and pregnant and lactating mothers in Ethiopia are reportedly suffering from acute malnutrition. Also, the prolonged drought in the country has caused massive livestock losses and forced over 360 000 people out of their homes.
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