News: Joint appeal seeks $1 bn to address humanitarian needs of 7 m Ethiopians in 2020

Pastoralists moved to temporary sites close to permanent water point, as drought affected Ethiopia Somali region. September 2019.

Addis Abeba, 29 January 2020: The 2020 Ethiopia Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) was officially released yesterday, laying out prioritized multi-sector humanitarian needs in Ethiopia for the year 2020.

The annual joint Government and humanitarian partners’ document targets 7 million people with emergency food and non-food assistance and is estimated to cost US$1 billion. “This is a reduction from the 8.3 million people targeted at the beginning of 2019, also a result of better targeting of the most acute needs this year,” the joint statement said.

Conflict displacement, shortage of rainfall in some parts of the country, floods in other parts and disease outbreaks remain key drivers of humanitarian needs in Ethiopia today. The desert locust infestation that has so far been ravaging three countries in the Horn of Africa, including Ethiopia, poses a significant food security risk if not quickly contained.

“The immediate focus of the Government of Ethiopia will be to provide life-saving assistance to fellow Ethiopians in need, be they displaced, food insecure or affected by other life-threatening emergencies,” said Commissioner Mitiku Kassa of the National Disaster Risk Management Commission. “This year, the HRP was released earlier than in previous years, which will allow faster dispatching of required emergency food and non-food supplies if funding is availed on time,” he added.

The UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator (RC/HC) to Ethiopia, Dr. Catherine Sozi, praised the commitment of the Government, the UN and NGO community and financing partners to address the still significant humanitarian needs of millions of Ethiopians in the food, nutrition, heath, WASH, shelter and non-food items, protection, education and agriculture sectors.

“Last year, partners stretched their human and financial resources to provide timely assistance to existing and newly developing humanitarian needs. The 2019 HRP was overall 76 per cent funded, which is a great success. However,  life-saving non-food sectors were critically underfunded. I call upon the international community to provide the required food and non-food resources to enable timely and adequate response to the most vulnerable Ethiopians in 2020,” Dr. Catherine stated.

In addition to responding to the needs of populations affected by inter-communal conflict, the Government and partners will also continue to address the needs of food-insecure population and persistent high levels of malnutrition in areas affected by consecutive years of drought and other climate-related livelihood threats.

“I, on behalf of the Government of Ethiopia, would like to thank the partners and friends of Ethiopia for your invaluable support, and I am confident of your continued generosity in 2020. I would also like to take this opportunity to particularly call on our development partners to scale up support for peace and resilience building programs moving foreward. The Durable Solutions Initiative, which we, together with our international partners launched in December 2019, will provide a common operational framework to sustainably address internal displacement in Ethiopia. Only by addressing the root causes of humanitarian crisis will we achieve our ambition to create a stable and prosperous Ethiopia,” Commissioner Mitiku Kassa added. UNEthiopia

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