Fighting Droughts in Ethiopia: EU Funds Mounting Humanitarian Needs

Written by | Monday, December 11th, 2017

Ethiopia will get additional financial assistance from the European Union worth 15 million euros. The funding will scale up the response to surging humanitarian needs as the country is fighting severe droughts and the resulting food insecurity. The new tranche of financing will bring the total EU aid to more than 91 million euros. The increased support comes as the number of refugees arriving from neighboring countries such as Eritrea, Somalia, and especially South Sudan is constantly on the rise, as is the number of internally displaced people.

Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides commented that Ethiopia was facing humanitarian crisis on many fronts. The EU funding will address water supply, livestock protection, and shelter, especially for the internally displaced people – the drought is believed to have forced more than 360,000 people out of their homes. Due to low rain over a protracted period of time, Ethiopia is facing the most critical levels of food and nutrition insecurity in a decade, especially in pastoral areas. The country is also home to the second largest number of refugees in Africa – more than 880,000 living in 25 camps across the country – which generates mounting humanitarian needs.

Ethiopia has been negatively affected by the climate change, especially by the El Nino phenomena. White the country is still recovering from the 2015-2016 drought, the current drought induced by the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) has taken hold in the south and southeastern lowlands. The drought has brought the number of people in the need of emergency food assistance to 8.5 million. It is estimated that there are about 3.6 million children and pregnant and lactating mothers suffering from acute malnutrition.

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