ADDIS ABABA — THE ETHIOPIAN HERALD Newspaper 22 April 2016: Germany has granted additional 13.581 million Euro to assist drought victims and refugees in Ethiopia. The grant was announced during Germany’s Deputy Minister of Economic Cooperation, Thomas Silberhorn’s visit to UNICEF warehouse here yesterday.
Silberhorn on the occasion lauded the government of Ethiopia for the well-coordinated response to the drought emergency. “The government’s timely call for early action has paved the way for a coordinated approach implemented by the government and international partners,” he added.
However, the Deputy Minister also added the situation was still severe. “The El Nino event has wreaked havoc on Ethiopia’s summer rains which will continue to drive food insecurity, malnutrition and water shortage in affected areas of the country,” he said.
He also appreciated Ethiopia’s effort in handling the continuous inflow of refugees from conflict-laden countries in the region like Somalia, Eritrea and South Sudan.
UNICEF Ethiopia Representative Gillian Mellsop on her part noted that the ongoing drought emergency in Ethiopia demonstrates that a focus on long-term development goals pays off. The ongoing large-scale drought response would have not been possible without the generous support of donor partners, she said. “The current drought in Ethiopia is the worst in many decades – currently rendering over 10 million people in need of relief food aid – and yet the government’s strong leadership and well-functioning coordination mechanisms and service delivery systems have prevented a humanitarian disaster.”
She also recalled that in 2015 alone, Germany had provided 10 million Euro to UNICEF for the drought emergency response in areas of WASH, Health and Nutrition. The contribution also included life saving ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) for malnourished children where there were 80,000 cartons in the warehouse.
All in all, out of the total grant, 10 million Euro would be implemented by UNICEF through KfW (state owned development bank in Germany) for targeted supplementary feeding of severely malnourished children and pregnant women, mobile health services in the pastoralist areas of Afar and Somali states as well as water and sanitation infrastructure and hygiene measures. While two million were contributed to UNOCHA (Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs) and its Ethiopian Humanitarian Fund (EHF), Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe, a German NGO, has received an amount of 518,000 Euro for an emergency response of drought in Afar state. Further, 1 million Euro was granted to UNHCR to support its programme to assist South Sudanese refugees.
Until now, in total, Germany’s support to UNICEF’s work in the drought-affected areas amounts to 20 million Euro.
BY ABIY HAILU