ADDIS ABABA –The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) called for urgent injection of international funding to curb drought in Ethiopia.
“WFP is less than 20 percent funded in 2017 and only 1 million of the targeted 4.7 million people in need are receiving WFP food rations in April,” according to statement issued by WFP on Saturday.
“Without an urgent and significant injection of international funding, Ethiopia will see a rapid deterioration in the situation,” the WFP indicated.
The Ethiopian government and its humanitarian partners in January officially launched the Humanitarian Requirements Document (HRD) for 2017, looking for 948 million U.S. dollars to reach out 5.6 million people with emergency food and non-food assistance.
The WFP, together with Ethiopia’s National Disaster Risk Management Commission, aims to cover the needs of 4.7 million people, while the Joint Emergency Operation Program, an NGO consortium, to provide the emergency needs of the remaining 0.9 million.
The Ethiopian government on Friday disclosed that the number of Ethiopians who are in need of emergency humanitarian assistance has now surpassed 7.7 million, and more than 740 million dollars is currently needed to address the humanitarian requirements of affected people.
The Chinese government has recently provided 8 million dollar worth of life-saving nutrition assistance to support WFP’s humanitarian response in drought-hit Ethiopia.
According to John Aylieff, WFP Country Director for Ethiopia, one of the areas highly affected by the ongoing drought is the Ethiopian Somali region.
“1.7 million people in the Somali region are currently facing extremely difficult circumstances, battered by unfavorable climatic conditions which have threatened their livelihoods and their existence,” he said.
“The WFP has also expressed its concern over the impact this would have on “the ever-increasing number of refugees fleeing both drought and insecurity in South Sudan, Somalia, and Eritrea”.