Member States briefing on the humanitarian situation in Ethiopia held in Geneva

7 million people require urgent food and non-food assistance

Ethiopia’s National Disaster Risk Management Commission Commissioner, Mitiku Kassa and the Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Ethiopia, Dr. Catherine Sozi, provided an overview of the humanitarian situation in Ethiopia to the Permanent and Observer Missions to the United Nations Office and other international organizations in Geneva, today.

Speaking on behalf of the international humanitarian community in Ethiopia, Dr. Sozi highlighted the complex humanitarian landscape in the country, as well as possible future threats that risk to further aggravate the humanitarian situation if not soon controlled, including the unprecedented desert locust infestation and possible pre-and post-election tensions.

“7 million Ethiopians are in acute need and are targeted for life-saving multi-sector assistance in 2020 at a cost of $1 billion. 81 percent are women and children. At least 81 implementing partners in Ethiopia stand ready to scale up operations if backed by adequate and timely funding,” Dr. Sozi stated.

Every year, the Government of Ethiopia, with the support of its international partners, strives to address the food and non-food needs of millions of Ethiopians affected by disasters. Chronic climate-related disasters such as droughts and food insecurity, conflict displacements and related protection and access challenges, as well as disease outbreaks such as cholera and measles remain the main drivers of humanitarian needs.

“Ethiopia has for decades been grappling with recurrent drought and seasonal flooding, the frequency and intensity of which have been gradually increasing. Since late 2017, we have also been dealing with the unfortunate consequences of inter-community conflict,” Commissioner Mitiku noted.

While the immediate focus of the Government of Ethiopia is to provide life-saving multi-sector humanitarian support to people in need, Commissioner Mitiku highlighted his Government’s commitment to reduce the vulnerability of Ethiopians and to turn them into resilient communities able to withstand shocks.

“The vast majority of displaced people who have either returned to their homestead or resettled elsewhere require recovery and rehabilitation support, conflict-affected areas require grassroot peace building initiatives, and recurrently drought-affected communities require sustainable water solution and livelihood support. These communities are unlikely to achieve food self-sufficiency in the immediate future without sustained recovery and resilience building investment,” he added.

The Commissioner and the Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator called on the continued generosity of international partners to support the ongoing humanitarian response as well as to scale up durable solutions programs.

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For further information, please contact

NDRMC   Debebe Zewde, National Disaster Risk Management Commission, Public Relations Department, Tel. (+251) 915734920

UNOCHA

Choice Ufuoma Okoro, Head, Strategic Communications, okoroc@un.org, Tel. (+251) 9125 02695

Mengistu Dargie, National Public Information and Reporting Officer, dargie@un.org, Tel. (+251) 911742381

Malda Nadew, Strategic Communication Analyst, nadew@un.org, Tel. (+251) 953852223

Alfred Nabeta, OCHA Operations and Advocacy Division, New York, nabeta@un.org

UN entities involved in this initiative
OCHA
Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs