UN short of funds for Ethiopia victims, rehab


The United Nations (UN) is in need of funds to cope with the recent floods in Ethiopia that have caused significant displacement of people and damage in the country’s south and east, said the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on Wednesday.

With more than 35,000 households displaced and more than 45 lives lost, Ethiopia’s Somali Region is the most affected. More than 23,000 livestock have died, while nearly 100,000 hectares of farmland has been destroyed, said OCHA.

Food, shelter, agriculture, nutrition and health support are the top humanitarian needs. The floods are also heightening health risks in places where there is an ongoing cholera outbreak. Flood water has reached areas already impacted by the historic drought in the Horn of Africa, which has left more than 11 million people food insecure in Ethiopia alone. While the rains have led to some improvements in agriculture and water conditions, the humanitarian situation remains dire, it said.

The United Nations and humanitarian partners, along with the Ethiopian government, are providing life-saving assistance. But more funding is needed, said the office.

A coordinated allocation of 40 million U.S. dollars by the Ethiopia Humanitarian Fund and the UN Central Emergency Response Fund is being prepared to address the needs of drought- and flood-affected people. But to date only 22 percent of the nearly 4 billion dollars required for the humanitarian response this year has been received, it said.

The United Nations and humanitarian partners are also seeking to support those arriving from neighboring Sudan, which is engulfed in a military conflict, said OCHA.

More than 25,000 people have crossed into Ethiopia since April 21, the majority of them Ethiopians returning to their country. The United Nations and partners, together with the Ethiopian government, have installed transit shelters with water and sanitation supplies, and have also provided food and nutrition supplies, said the office.


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