Despite the well-coordinated response already under way to offset the impacts of an El Niño-induced drought in Ethiopia, the United Nations humanitarian wing has warned that the scale of the developing emergency exceeds resources and that more funding is urgently needed to ensure food distribution and child protection amid ongoing malnutrition and water shortages.
“Resources currently in-hand do not guarantee a full relief food basket for beneficiaries,” said the latest weekly update on Ethiopia compiled by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
It also added that “without additional resources, the food sector projects a full pipeline break in a couple of months.”
$1.2 billion is needed for food relief to10.2 million people. However, the current appeal is only funded by one third.
Given the lead times necessary for the procurement of relief items, the Government and its international partners have called for early action to this slow onset natural disaster.
Fragmentation of delivery is of critical priority as it has negative implications for nutrition and health, and the beneficiaries have to travel more than twice to the food distribution point within short period.
Meanwhile, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) is helping deliver food to 2 million people and has started using the humanitarian supplies from the Port of Berbera in Somaliland.
Further, the allocation-dispatch-distribution is being finalized in about 4 weeks and the geographic and programmatic priorities for the first quarter of 2016 have also been completed by OCHA’s inter-cluster group and its country team.
Child protection is another concern due to drought, as poor families are taking negative coping mechanisms such as child marriage. As such, Child Protection Rapid Assessments (CPRA) validation and drought response planning workshops are being held at national and regional levels. However, financial requirements are also expected to expedite this exercise.
The El Niño global climactic event has wreaked havoc on Ethiopia’s summer rains, says OCHA. This comes on the heels of failed spring rains, and has driven food insecurity, malnutrition and water shortages in affected areas of the country.
The current El Niño pattern, being the strongest ever recorded, has caused severe drought in the Horn of Africa nation, resulting in crop reduction by 50 to 90 per cent and leaving some 10.2 million people food insecure.
Meanwhile, information is now public, including on twitter, that the TPLF regime has blocked/sabotaged China TV news report titled Ethiopia drought deteriorating at an alarming rate from broadcasting. On receiving this information, our effort to watch the program was not successful. The program did not respond, nor did it indicate it has encountered a problem; as can be seen from the image below, it remained unresponsive blank empty space on CCTV webpage.
Knowing as we do the TPLF, it may be to its horrendous sensitiveness, which even had taken it to deny existence of either drought or hunger in Ethiopia. It is our considered view that it is unlikely the reportage as such is meant to be unfriendly to the regime or could have any untoward motive.
It is rather a cold fact about the degree of lawless in the country and an indication of the absence of rule of law. At this very moment, as it has been for a quarter century, officials of the authoritarian regime do whatever they want in the name of development and as safeguard against terrorism.
Sadly for a population of 100 million, mostly young that constantly undertake risky routes to runaway from all these, the heavy-handed dictators do these things, without the benefit of adequate education to understand and determine what is right or wrong for the people, such as the implications of censorship to the rights of citizens!
We have learned since October 2015, the EU talks all sorts of nonsense and backrubing with this repressive regime, even on the issues of migration and refugee outflows from Ethiopia. The consultations and arrangements put in place since October 2015 between Ethiopia and the EU ignore the fact that the regime’s policies have been ‘push factors’ for huge outflows of refugees from Ethiopia to Europe and elsewhere – unless someone comes forth and tell the world that for UN Special Rapporteurs were wrong, when they spoke about the untold violation of human rights in the country has been abusive and cause of serious concern.
Ethiopia’s Ambassador to the EU in Brussels Teshome Toga spilled out the backroom deals with the EU foreign policy Chief Federica Mogherini in his criticisim in an Amharic language interview on a TPLF-run radio station in the US that the latest resolution by the European Parliament, which among other things, “Strongly condemns the recent use of excessive force by the security forces in Oromia and in all Ethiopian regions, the increased cases of human rights violations and abuses” probably was unaware of the lastest arrangements befitting the excellent relations the regime has with the TPLF regime!