ADDIS ABABA – The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has provided 5 million US dollars support to help sustain food rationing for refugees in Ethiopia, the UN Refugee Agency said on Saturday.
Despite facing several challenges, Ethiopia remains one of the top refugee-hosting countries in the world. Over 740,000 people, mostly from neighboring nations, have taken refuge in the country.
The new $5 million contribution, made available through the Famine Relief Fund (FRF), helps sustain monthly food distributions for all refugees, said the UNHCR.
The fund would also allow the UNHCR to run special nutrition programs, currently benefitting close to 38,000 children aged 6 to 23 months and more than 27,000 Pregnant and lactating women.
Margaret Atieno, UNHCR Deputy Representative in Ethiopia, said the refugee agency “is grateful” to the people and Government of the United Arab Emirates for the support.
It “has come at a time when resource constraints necessitated introducing further cuts in food rations for refugees,” said Atieno. “This donation will contribute to reduce undernutrition and associated health problems and deaths”.
The worsening food security and nutrition situation is compounded by the recent reduction of food assistance to refugees in Ethiopia to only 50% of a full ration due to funding shortfalls.
Without urgent additional funding, resources will no longer be available to procure food for refugees as of September, according to the UN agency.