ADDIS ABABA – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) on Tuesday said it has recieved $60 million from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to support the UN agency’s humanitarian response in Ethiopia.
In a statement today, the UN Agency said the funding will provide emergency food and nutrition assistance, particularly to communities affected by recent conflict in northern Ethiopia.
More than 13 million people require humanitarian food assistance in Afar, Amhara, and Tigray regions, the Agency says.
The UAE funds, delivered through the Famine Relief Fund, will allow WFP to continue to address the urgent food needs of 1.6 million people in the three regions.
“This new funding from the UAE comes to Ethiopians in their hour of need,” said Claude Jibidar, WFP’s Country Director and Representative in Ethiopia.
“We’ve seen some of the biggest increases in food insecurity across areas” affected by the conflict and the country’s worst drought in 40 years, the country director added.
“New contributions from the UAE and other key donors have allowed WFP to continue scaling up its operations in Northern Ethiopia during a critical time for communities ahead of the planting season.”
Since the Government’s announcement of a humanitarian truce in March. Jibidar said WFP-led convoys "have been flowing at pace into Tigray."
Over the past ten weeks, the country director said over 3,800 trucks have delivered over 130,000 tonnes of food and other lifesaving humanitarian supplies.
The UN agency also said it is providing food assistance to over 700,000 refugees every month in Ethiopia with only 50 percent of their daily nutritional requirements currently being met due to funding shortfalls.
"The UAE contribution will help cover 20% of food assistance to refugees in all camps," it said.
Meanwhile, almost a third of parents (32%) in Afar zone 4, and 16% in Amhara reported that their young children under five had been admitted to health centers in the previous three months due to malnutrition, according to a recent WFP assessment in conflict-affected zones of both regions.
With the UAE’s support, WFP said it will deliver life-saving nutrition treatment to malnourished children and women. But "responding to the acute humanitarian crisis in Ethiopia requires the support and action of many," the UN Agency added.
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