ADDIS ABABA – UN’s World Food Program (WFP) announced on Wednesday Chinese government’s contribution which will be used to purchase over 4,000 metric tonnes of maize for 268,000 internally displaced people in the Somali Region of Ethiopia.
“WFP is grateful to China for making this generous contribution and supporting our efforts to assist those in need,” said Steven Were Omamo, WFP’s Country Director and Representative in Ethiopia.
“As one of WFP’s key partners, we are grateful for the commitment shown by China in helping vulnerable people in Ethiopia to get the food they need to survive,” he added.
Over the past five years, China’s contributions to WFP have enabled the purchase of almost 13,000 metric tonnes of food in Ethiopia.
This latest donation comes at a critical time as the organization faces a funding shortfall, and urgently requires USD 325 million to maintain operations in Ethiopia from March to August 2021, the UN Food program said.
The handover event in Addis Ababa was attended by Tadesse Bekele the Special Advisor to the Commissioner of the National Disaster Risk Management Commission and Chinese Ambassador Zhao Zhiyuan.
“China has always been a major development partner to Ethiopia and a staunch supporter of WFP’s operations in this country,” Ambassador Zhiyuan said.
China’s cooperation with WFP Ethiopia dates back to 2015, during which the East African nation was struck by the worst El Niño-induced drought in half a century.
“Since then, China’s assistance to WFP Ethiopia has amounted to USD 16 million,” the ambassador said.
“That includes the USD 2 million food assistance activity, which is the theme of today’s event. China will continue to maintain a good working relationship with international organizations such as WFP and the Ethiopian government, to contribute to the long-term development of the country.”
Conflict, droughts, flash and seasonal floods have all contributed to internal displacement in the Somali Region and elsewhere in Ethiopia. WFP provides food to 1.1 million internally displaced people across the country.