South Omo zone is among the lowland areas of the country affected by the recent drought, forcing pastorialists to travel long distances in search of water for their cattle.

US Announces $488mln more Humanitarian Aid for Ethiopia

ADDIS ABABA – The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) on Wednesday said it is providing an additional $488 million in humanitarian assistance to Ethiopia.

In a statement today, the USAID said its “partners will meet urgent needs for 4.8 million people across Ethiopia” using the latest humanitarian assistance.

The Horn of Africa is experiencing a La Niña-induced driest conditions recorded since 1981 following three consecutive failed rainy seasons since late 2020.

This has caused unprecedented drought in Ethiopia, resulting in crop losses and the death of 2.5 million livestock – a significant loss in sources of food and income.

Latest estimates say more than 8 million people are in need of aid in drought-hit southern and south-eastern parts of the country that was affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and recent desert locust invasion.

According to USAID, the newly announced funding by the United States government will help to provide emergency food aid to people affected by the drought including specialized food for malnourished children.

Sorghum, yellow split peas, and vegetable oil will be given to families living in areas where “local markets are not functional”, the US aid agency.

“Where markets are functional, USAID will provide cash for Ethiopians to purchase food staples from local markets, supporting the local economy and ensuring families facing starvation get what they need,” the agency added.

In addition to the food aid, the agency aims to provide agricultural inputs to farmers as well as veterinary services, animal fodder, and supplements to allow animals in drought-hit areas to continue breeding.

The USAID said, including the new funding, it has provided more than $668 million in humanitarian assistance for the Ethiopian emergency drought response in the 2022 fiscal year.