UN seeks to raise $1 billion to boost aid to Ethiopia

By Thomson Reuters Apr 16, 2024 | 9:26 AM

GENEVA (Reuters) – The United Nations on Tuesday said it was seeking to raise $1 billion to boost humanitarian aid to Ethiopia, which has been hit by conflict, drought and floods.

A U.N.-hosted pledging event, organised along with the governments of Ethiopia and the United Kingdom and held at the United Nations in Geneva, is designed to increase life-saving assistance to 15.5 million people and food aid to 10.4 million.

“The emergency has been building up through cycles of droughts and floods, and conflict,” the U.N. humanitarian office (OCHO) said.

“El Nino (weather pattern) has exacerbated a drought in the northern highlands and millions of people are coping with less water, drier pastures and smaller harvests.”

OCHA said that conflict and climate shocks had caused more than 21 million people in Ethiopia to require humanitarian aid this year, and that 10.8 million people were projected to be critically food insecure during the lean season between July and September.

The United Kingdom said it would pledge 100 million pounds($124.58 million) to increase aid to Ethiopia.

Andrew Mitchell, Britain’s deputy foreign secretary and minister for development and Africa, said he hoped the pledge would encourage other countries, including in the Gulf region, to take part.

A two-year war that erupted in November 2020 between the federal government and forces led by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, which dominates the northern region, has killed tens of thousands of people, created famine-like conditions for hundreds of thousands, and displaced millions.

($1 = 0.8027 pound)

(Reporting by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber and Emma Farge; editing by Jonathan Oatis)