UN leadership in Ethiopia visits IDPs in Amhara Region
Senior UN officials in Ethiopia visited IDP sites in Amhara region and held discussions with the leadership of Amhara Region.
Senior UN officials in Ethiopia, including the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Dr. Catherine Sozi, the World Food Programme Country Director, Dr. Steven Were Omamo, and the OCHA Head of Office, Sarah Hilding, visited IDP sites in Amhara region and held discussions with the leadership of Amhara Region on 7 November 2021.
In Bahir Dar, capital of Amhara Region, the UN officials held constructive discussions with the Amhara Regional President to identify means of improving humanitarian access and flow of aid to people in need in Amhara region, including those newly affected by the conflict.
During the discussion, President of Amhara Region, Dr. Yilikal Kefale, called for scaling up humanitarian assistance to Internally Displaced Persons in Amhara region.
Noting the growing humanitarian needs in the Northern Ethiopia including Amhara Region, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Dr. Catherine Sozi, mentioned the challenges facing humanitarian agencies in getting aid to communities most in need.
“While humanitarian needs increase and grow more severe in the country, the humanitarian community faces significant difficulty in getting aid to communities most in need,” Dr. Sozi said.
In a site for internally displaced persons in Amhara, the UN delegation met many women, one of whom shared her fear of the future, having been displaced three times with her children due to fighting in the past month.
In Amhara, over 700,000 people have been displaced by the conflict so far and a million people are in urgent need of food assistance, according to the National Disaster Risk Management Commission.
WFP is working with Federal and Amhara Regional authorities to continue delivering emergency food assistance – and has reached 213,000 food insecure people displaced by conflict so far across seven districts. In the next round it aims to reach 440,000 people.
“The needs are increasing exponentially across the three northern regions but we know there has been a very sharp increase of people displaced in Amhara – all authorities must facilitate access to the most affected populations so we can reach them with lifesaving food and nutrition assistance,” said Dr. Steven Were Omamo, WFP Ethiopia Country Director.
The funding gap for the humanitarian response in Ethiopia for 2021 stands at more than US$1.3 billion. An estimated $606 million has been mobilized for response towards the Northern Ethiopia Response Plan, and $474 million for response towards the draft Humanitarian Response Plan, which covers areas outside Tigray. However, this is far from sufficient to cover the mounting humanitarian needs across the country.