News: UN releases $65M for humanitarian response as Tigray crisis worsens; 16 M people in need of humanitarian assistance across Ethiopia

Picture: MSF

Addis Abeba, May 06/2021 – The United Nations has released US$65 million for the humanitarian response in Ethiopia. More than 16 million people need humanitarian assistance throughout Ethiopia, including an estimated 4.5 million in the Tigray region.

UN humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock said: “Ethiopian lives and livelihoods are being destroyed by drought, and children are suffering from malnutrition. And six months into the conflict in Tigray, civilians continue to bear the brunt. Women and girls are being targeted with horrific sexual violence, and millions are struggling to access essential services and food, especially in some rural areas that are completely cut off. We need to scale up the humanitarian response now.”

Access to all those in need in Tigray remains a challenge, but aid workers are working with authorities to overcome obstacles to get help to those who need it and reaching previously inaccessible areas in the South-Eastern zone. Last week an inter-agency humanitarian convoy managed to reach Samre town, where it delivered emergency food aid and nutrition supplies and organized a mobile health clinic in the Samre hospital. These recent reports show the promise of improved access and underscore the urgency of additional funding to help people who were previously unreachable.

A total of $40 million will be dedicated to the aid operation in Tigray, where it will fund emergency shelter, clean water, health care, work to prevent and respond to cases of sexual and gender-based violence, and emergency telecommunications to support the humanitarian response. The funding comes as the security situation in Tigray remains volatile, aid workers are unable to reach all those in need, and COVID-19 cases have been reported among displaced people in Mekelle.

The remaining $25 million will fund humanitarian operations in the rest of Ethiopia, including in response to drought in the Somali and Oromia regions. It will support the treatment of children with severe acute malnutrition and the rehabilitation of water systems, supply water to drought-affected communities, and enable humanitarian organizations to pre-position life-saving supplies.

The current humanitarian response throughout Ethiopia, including in Tigray, remains insufficient to meet the needs of all affected people. Additional funding is needed, alongside safe and unfettered humanitarian access, to ensure aid organizations and the Ethiopian Government can scale up to the level needed.

The $65 million released today is made up of $45 million from the UN-managed Ethiopia Humanitarian Fund, $25 million of which is earmarked for Tigray, and $20 million from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), $15 million of which will be dedicated to Tigray.

Previously, CERF has provided $33 million in response to the Tigray situation and for anticipatory humanitarian action for drought in Ethiopia.

Previously, the UN’s Ethiopia Humanitarian Fund has provided $12.5 million for the humanitarian response in Ethiopia, including in the Tigray region.

In Sudan, CERF and the Sudan Humanitarian Fund have previously provided $10.6 million for refugees from Tigray.

These allocations would not have been possible without generous and consistent donor support.

CERF is one of the fastest and most effective ways to help people affected by crises. Since its creation, it has assisted hundreds of millions of people with over $7 billion across more than 100 countries and territories. UN

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