By Mhret G/Kristos
ADDIS ABEBA – Ethiopian Red Cross Society said it has supported over a million displaced people, but feared possible increase in the number of people in need of aid.
The agency supported displaced people located mainly in Amhara, SNNP, Benishangul-Gumuz regional states.
It has spent around 45 million birr in the process so far this year in the country about 8.6 million of it people that are currently in need of food.
Almost 3 million of them are displaced from their home town due to conflicts, said Dr. Meshesha Shewarega, Secretary General of Ethiopian Red Cross society (ERCS).
Estimates show that the country needs 1.3 billion birr aid to support them.
“The number of people that needs support may still increase,” said Dr. Meshesha, adding more support is needed to help rehabilitate them.
Red Cross hopes to cover 140 million Birr from the total appeal and alerted its partner aid agencies to allocate resources, red cross officials said on the day that they marked International Red Cross and Red Crescent’s Anniversary.
President Sahlework Zewde, who attended the anniversary under ‘Humanity for Peace’ theme, said this is critical the time for Ethiopia and needs Red Cross society’s support.
“We need not only humanity but also peace in the country and Red Cross society has big role to play in helping Ethiopia its peace,” said Sahlework, who receives the Red Cross membership certificate on Thursday.
Red Cross and Red Crescent Day was marked in Addis Abeba, where two major campaigns have been launched as part of the celebration.
The first project aims to increase Red Cross’s membership from the current 5 million to 11 million while the second one is to boost the number of donating organizations from 40,000 to one million.
“Our plan is to be the biggest Red Cross society,” said Meshesha.