China supports WFP’s emergency response in Ethiopia

The government of China on Thursday provided life saving nutrition assistance worth eight million dollars to support the United Nations World Food Programme’s (WFP) response in drought-hit Ethiopia.

The contribution from China would enable WFP to provide specialised treatment for over 277,000 moderately malnourished children and women due to the ongoing drought that affected parts of the east African country.

La Yifan, the Chinese Ambassador in Ethiopia, said during the handing over ceremony that China is a friendly country, providing support to its best ability.

“We are a developing country, but we obliged to provide assistance to other countries through the World Food Programme,’’ he said.

The ambassador appreciated efforts made by the Ethiopian government to reach out to the emergency needs of its drought affected citizens.

He also called on the international community to fulfill the commitments made in the fight against climate change, as a sustainable solution to minimise the occurrence of natural disasters.

John Aylieff, WFP Ethiopia Representative and Country Director, appreciated China’s contributions to support people in drought affected Ethiopia.

Aylieff said that the support had come at a crucial moment as the east African country endures the worst drought in 50 years.

“While the government did so much itself, support from the international community was needed.

“It was at this moment that China came forward,’’ he said.

Tadesse Bekele, Advisor at Ethiopian Disaster Risk Management, also appreciated the contribution from China, saying that “China is very generous to Ethiopia.”

“I am very much delighted that this supplementary food assistance will help those desperate people, and we will be able to save the lives of children and lactating mothers,’’ he said.

According to Tadesse, the Ethiopian government is working on proactive measures to minimise the effect of the drought in its effort to save the lives of millions of people.

The Government of Ethiopia and its humanitarian partners had in January officially launched the Humanitarian Requirements Document (HRD) for 2017.

Tadesse, however, said the government was also looking for 948 million dollars to reach out to 5.6 million people with emergency food and non-food assistance.

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