Joint Statement by Commissioner of the Ethiopian Disaster Risk Management Commission and UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Ethiopia on urgent funding needs for the ongoing response to food insecurity across the northern highlands of Ethiopia
01 February 2024
Joint Statement by Ambassador Shiferaw Teklemariam, Commissioner of the Ethiopian Disaster Risk Management Commission and Dr. Ramiz Alakbarov, United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Ethiopia on urgent funding needs for the ongoing response to food insecurity across the northern highlands of Ethiopia
The impact of an El Niño-driven drought is ravaging communities in the highlands of Ethiopia. This global climatic event impacted Ethiopia’s summer rains, leading to severe water shortages, dried pastures, and reduced harvest. Millions of lives and livestock are affected, with reports of alarming food insecurity and rising malnutrition.
The drought footprint is being felt across Afar, Amhara, Tigray, Oromia as well as Southern and South West Ethiopia Peoples' Region. Most affected, however, are vulnerable communities in northern Ethiopia that have yet to recover from the 2020-2022 conflict, particularly in localized areas of Amhara, Tigray and Afar where the recent harvest was severely disrupted leaving households with no or limited food stock.
Whilst the situation in many of these areas is already alarming, there is an opportunity to avert a serious humanitarian catastrophe. The Government of Ethiopia and humanitarian partners have undertaken a coordinated multi-sector assessment and analysis of the situation, which concluded that the number of critically food insecure people will continue to grow over the next few months reaching a peak of 10.8 million during the July-September lean season. Malnutrition rates in parts of Afar, Amhara and Tigray and other regions have already surpassed globally recognized crisis thresholds, although the situation is currently not reflective of famine-like conditions.
Thanks to the efforts of Government and generous donor support, some 6.6 million people are already being assisted with food and cash in a prioritized manner across affected areas, including through dynamic vulnerability-based targeting of households, with multisectoral response efforts being scaled up to many others.
In order to seize the opportunity to avert a further worsening of the drought impact, additional resources are urgently required to rapidly scale up and sustain response efforts, including in areas where national systems and public infrastructure have been disrupted by conflict.
There is a short window of opportunity to prevent further deterioration, urgent action is required now to allow a redoubling of response efforts.
For more information, please contact:
• Muluneh Woldemariam, Ethiopian Disaster Risk Management Commission (EDRMC), +251-910-318-103, firstname.lastname@example.org
• Malda Nadew, UN office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, +251-953-852-223, email@example.com