Ongoing drought has left Ethiopia facing a severe food crisis with millions in urgent need of emergency food aid and children facing malnutrition, International Development Minister Nick Hurd has warned.
The Government of Ethiopia and UN estimate that 10.2 million people are currently in need of humanitarian assistance and have launched an appeal for an additional $1.4 billion (£923 million) for the response. A further 7.9 million will need support under Ethiopia’s safety nets programme – bringing the total number of people in need of relief to more than 18 million.
The UK is the second largest bilateral humanitarian donor in Ethiopia and has already provided additional support to the current crisis.
Our existing emergency relief includes:
* emergency water, nutrition and health support for 2.6 million people through the UN’s Humanitarian Response Fund
* food for 120,000 severely malnourished children as well as clean water and sanitation for 4.5 million people through UNICEF
* lifesaving aid for 2.1 million people through the UN’s World Food Programme
The Government of Ethiopia has committed to its largest ever response to a drought, but this is vulnerable to changing weather patterns. While difficult to predict, the El Niño effect this year looks set to be the strongest on record, threatening people’s lives, health and livelihoods around the world.
In addition to immediate humanitarian relief, Britain’s long-term support for Ethiopia’s strategy to protect the most vulnerable has helped millions of families prepare for the current drought which has been made worse by El Niño.
International Development Minister Nick Hurd has visited areas affected by drought in the north of the country.
Nick Hurd said:
* “Ethiopia is facing a humanitarian crisis which continues to grow. Drought and crop failures have left millions facing chronic food shortages and children at risk of malnutrition, while a lack of clean water is increasing the threat of disease.
* “Britain and the Government of Ethiopia, along with the UN and others, are working together to help the people of Ethiopia to cope with this crisis.
* “I have seen for myself the difference British aid is making in getting lifesaving food to those most in need – especially children. But much more needs to be done.
* This crisis needs a global response. The people of Ethiopia desperately need the international community to step up and provide immediate, targeted humanitarian relief.”