World Food Program Calls on Donor Countries to Redouble Humanitarian Contributions to Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa April 4/2022 /ENA/The World Food Programme (WFP) in Ethiopia has called on donor countries to double their humanitarian contributions as the size of the needy population is steadily increasing.

In an exclusive interview with ENA, WFP Acting Country Director to Ethiopia, Mietek Maj said following the conflict in the northern part of the country and drought in Oromia and Somali Regions, a large number of needy population are in need of humanitarian assistance.   

WFP requires over 600 million US dollars to provide humanitarian assistance alone to reach over 11 million people in northern Ethiopia and drought affected communities as well as some 700, 000 refugee  populations Ethiopia is hosting, he noted.

Humanitarian needs remain high in several parts of Ethiopia with at least 20 million people requiring some form of humanitarian assistance until the end of this year, it was indicated.

The acting country director added the required humanitarian assistance in Ethiopia has been doubled compared with last year.   

Accordingly, he called on donor countries to double their humanitarian contributions to the size of the populations who are in need of the assistance.

Their effort needs to be doubled to the size of the populations who need to be assisted.

 “Las year we provided assistance to over 12 million people within the humanitarian response plan. The plan for this year is to reach over 20 million people. That is why we really appreciate and thank all donors’ countries for their generous contributions. Their effort needs to be doubled to the size of the population really requires to be assisted.”

For instance, the acting director indicated that due to lack of funding, WFP has been forced to reduce the rations for cereals from 15 kilograms per-person and per-month to 12 kilograms in the Somali region.

 Similarly, for the past three consecutive months, we are forced to reduce the rations for refugees from 18 percent to 16 percent which definitely will have an impact on the nutrition status of the affected populations.    

The director indicated that WFP has provided the relief assistant in the northern emergency    operations to reach some 3.4 million people in Tigray, Amhara and Afar regions.

Similarly,  due to rain failures in the three consecutive seasons in the Somali region, there is a total of 3.3 million needy people that have been affected by the drought.

WFP has reached 2.4 millions over the past many months in the Somali region alone, he indicated.

He also appreciated the current humanitarian truce declared by the Ethiopian government that the international humanitarian agencies, aid workers and rights groups have welcomed the alarm about the conditions in Tigray. 

“The United Nations (UN) Secretary General and other donor countries welcome very much this  declaration of the Ethiopian government humanitarian truce. This is very much awaited and welcome. Obviously, this requires to operationalize— that is why all parties involved requires providing entire-full support in order to ensure that they are required assistance to  populations of Tigray Afar and Amhara reaches in the timely manner.”

Practical progress has been witnessed on the ground since the humanitarian truce has been announced, Mietek indicated.

“Progress has been made since the declaration of the humanitarian truce by the Ethiopian government. I am pleased to inform that the convoy of 35 trucks have reached  to the northwest of the Afar regions that requires the assistance to be provided to displaced populations but most importantly,  and over the 3 months that we were not able to deliver any assistance by road.”

WFP has been also  recently undertaking food security assessment in both the  Amhara and Afar  regional zones affected by conflicts that the populations are seriously affected by the food security, he indicated.  

Some  98 percent of the populations are seriously food insecure in these areas, according to him.