Some 8.2 million people are in urgent need of food assistance in Ethiopia as El-Nino induced drought caused a severe reduction in output for the country’s main annual harvest. The situation has been worsened by the outbreak of many diseases which made the World Health Organisation (WHO) intervene and call for an initial funding request of more than $8 million.
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has joined other donors to come to the rescue of the East African nation and has announced an additional $88 million in humanitarian assistance for Ethiopia today to address the humanitarian crisis resulting from the impacts of the El Niño phenomenon.The new funding brings the total U.S. humanitarian assistance for Ethiopia to more than $435 million since the start of fiscal year 2015.
“Building on earlier food assistance to Ethiopians impacted by El Niño, USAID will provide more than 116,000 metric tons of relief food aid to address the needs of 2.6 million people in 74 districts,” a statement by the aid agency said. “USAID will also scale up rapid response systems for nutrition and water, and support partners to jumpstart pipelines of relief supplies, helping provide much needed aid for peak needs during the June to September 2016 lean season.”
The Government of Ethiopia estimates that 10.2 million people will be in need of relief food assistance by 2016. Approximately 5.8 million people will need clean water, 1.7 million children and lactating mothers will require nutritious food supplements, and as many as 435,000 children will require treatment for severe acute malnutrition in 2016. In addition, some 700,000 expecting and recent mothers are at risk for severe malnutrition.
However, Ethiopia is responding well to the crisis. The government has already provided $297 million in relief resources, among other efforts.
Despite the country’s efforts and the immense help of donors, the severity of the crisis has made USAID call for additional resources from global donors to save the lives of those most in need in Ethiopia.