Lives and livelihoods parch as drought lashes Ethiopia

  • February 22, 2017

The catastrophic effect of drought in Ethiopia’s Somali region has affected more than 7,85,000 people who are suffering from hunger, malnutrition and severe water shortages, according to a top United Nations official.

Stephen O’Brien, the United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator said, “I was recently in Ethiopia’s Somali region, where I saw the devastating impact this drought is having on people’s lives, livestock and livelihoods.”

Emphasising the need for swift action, the official released about $18.5 million from the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to provide some relief to the people from the devastating drought.

Brien noted, “Time lost means lives lost so I am releasing CERF funding to provide urgent aid to people in need – now – when they need it most. Humanitarians will use these funds to save lives, but it is a bridge that must be matched and surpassed urgently. Millions of people’s lives, livelihoods and wellbeing depend on continued donor support.”

According to the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), the Horn of Africa received only a quarter of the expected rainfall between October and December last year, leaving over 17 million people in Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda in crisis and emergency food insecurity levels.

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