A woman walks with her starving donkey. Climate change wreaks havoc on the livelihoods of communities in Somali region. Three consecutive failed rainy seasons have brought severe drought – leading to depletion of livelihoods and acute food insecurity. Water shortage is chronic, forcing women and children to to walk long distances from their homes. The condition pastoralists highly valued livestock is deteriorating. In response, UNICEF, in close coordination with the local authorities, is working tirelessly to provide life-saving assistance to those desperately in need. This includes the rehabilitation of boreholes and water schemes, emergency water trucking, treatment of severely malnourished children and providing emergency education and child protection support. Sagalo village, Korahe zone, Kebridahar woreda (district), Somali region, Ethiopia, 21 January 2022 ©UNICEF Ethiopia/2022/Mulugeta Ayene

US to Provide $39mln Support to Drought Response in Ethiopia

ADDIS ABABA – The US aid agency, USAID, on Tuesday said it is providing more than $39 million assistance in support of a humanitarian response to drought affected communities in Ethiopia.

Three consecutive failed rainy seasons have brought on severe drought in lowland areas of southern and south-eastern Ethiopia, drying up water wells, killing livestock and crops.

At least 6.2 people are projected to be in need of urgent humanitarian aid by mid-March 2022, according to aid agencies.

In response, the USAID said it “is providing more than $39 million in additional humanitarian aid to meet the needs of people in Ethiopia.”

“This additional support will provide 1.6 million drought-affected Ethiopians and refugees with food assistance, including school meals, as well as emergency nutrition for children and pregnant and lactating women,” the aid agency added

The USAID would provide the latest support to Ethiopia through its partner the UN World Food Program (WFP) which, earlier this month, said it needs a total of US$ 327 million to respond to immediate needs of 4.5 million drought-affected communities in East Africa over the next six months.

Apart from Ethiopia, East Africa’s driest conditions in four decades has impacted pastoral and farmer populations south-eastern and northern Kenya and south-central Somalia.