Africa-Press – Ethiopia. USA Ambassador Tracey Ann Jacobson has called on international donor partners to fill gaps for urgently needed humanitarian assistance to drought victims in Ethiopia.
The ambassador, who traveled to Gode in Somali Region to visit U.S.-funded humanitarian assistance efforts to combat the ongoing effects of the drought, last week pledged continued U.S. support for drought affected Ethiopians in every region.
Briefing journalist following her trip, Ambassador Jacobson said 550 million USD is required to address the victims. But there is a huge 270 million USD funding gap.
“We are hoping that other national and international partners will step up and help to address the drought condition,” she added.
She further stressed that what everybody wants is long time sustainable livelihood and the US program includes elements of that as well of building resilience.
“The US is the largest donor in humanitarian relief effort for the drought and we have committed so far this year 110 million USD for assistance. This includes direct food assistance to 3.6 million people. It also includes special nutritional support for malnourished children, pregnant and lactating women, medical support and agricultural livestock support.”
Ambassador Jacobson urged other donors and the government to step-up funding, which OCHA says is needed by June 2022, to close the nearly 275 million USD gap and to prevent further loss of life.
“We are doing our part. We just got an additional 13 million USD. I think we are doing our part in order to mobilize our own resources from the U.S. government, but also working to encourage others to mobilize their resources as well,” she said.
World Food Program Ethiopia Spokesperson, Claire Nevill, said early action is absolutely imperative to save lives and get the lifesaving food and nutrition assistance to the people on time.
“We know from the previous drought that if we act early and provide the food and livelihood assistance, it really make a difference in the long term to people’s lives. So it is really essential that we get the additional funding for operation right now,” she underlined.
The spokesperson explained that WFP is facing funding shortage of over 240 million USD over the next six months.
Nevill pointed out that “this response needs additional funding right now. We know that the funding pool is over stretched; but this drought is unprecedented and more life will be lost. So the international community can come on board to support WFP, to act now and prevent further malnutrition and devastation in the community here (in Somali region) and southern Ethiopia.”