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Ethiopia seeks $1.4b to address El Nino drought crisis

by Muhammad Sani

By Haruna Gimba

Ethiopia Government and Humanitarian partners has kick off donor capital visits to raise awareness on the urgent need for increased funding for Ethiopia’s El Niño-induced droughts.

The delegation include Ethiopia’s Commissioner for National Disaster Risk Management Commission (NDRMC), Mr. Mitiku Kassa, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator to Ethiopia, Ms. Ahunna Eziakonwa-Onochie, the Representative and Country Director of the World Food Programme, Mr. John Aylieff and Country Representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Ms. Clementine Nkweta Salami.

The visit which will commence from Oslo, Norway on April 26, Geneva April 27 and expected to conclude with a visits to Washington and New York, on April 28 and May 5.

“Ethiopia’s 2016 Humanitarian Requirement Document (HRD) seeks US$1.4 billion to respond to needs of at least 10.2 million people affected by the drought, the Government of Ethiopia is one of the largest donors, and together with the international community has raised an estimated US$800 million so far, but critical life-saving gaps remain across all sectors,” according to statement from Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

“We plan to discuss with the targeted donor capitals the need for the mobilisation of additional resources and the importance of balancing support with an emphasis on basic service delivery and economic transformation. The drought crisis in Ethiopia today makes the case for investing now to protect development gains,” NDRMC Commissioner Mr. Kassa said.

UN Humanitarian Coordinator to Ethiopia, Mr. Eziakonwa-Onuchie said:“Through the visits, we hope to raise awareness of the scale and scope of the current El Nino-induced drought in Ethiopia and the urgent need for funding, while also promoting the innovative ways the country is harmonizing development and humanitarian agendas for maximum impact in responding to the current drought.

Health Reporters gathered that National systems in Ethiopia, health infrastructure, social protection systems and food systems, have been strengthened over the past decades.

The statement added that these national systems have been behind Ethiopia’s success in achieving some of the key Millennium Development Goals and will be fundamental as Ethiopia pursues Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals.

“We need to rally urgently to protect the development gains of Ethiopia over the past decade and ensure the country remains on its remarkable development trajectory.  Urgent and substantial investment in the humanitarian crisis response this year is the only way to ensure this and we must act now,” she said.

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