Flood-mud at school affected by floods in Kelafo, Somali region in December 2023. (Image OCHA Ethiopia/ Jayne Mbakaya)

Four million people need urgent food Assistance

About 4 million people in drought-affected Afar, Amhara, Tigray, Oromia, South Ethiopia, & South West need urgent food assistance, according to the Government and Food Cluster.

Overlap of food insecurity, high malnutrition rates with malaria, measles, and cholera outbreaks as well as livestock emergencies severely weaken communities’ ability to cope.

The Disaster Risk Management Commission (DRMC) and the UN Humanitarian Coordinator (OCHA) on Wednesday urged donors to step up their support.

In a joint statement, the pair said the government and humanitarian partners are stepping up life-saving efforts in the most affected areas, despite severe resource constraints and operational difficulties, including active clashes in some pocket areas.

The government reached at least 7.3 million people in over three rounds of food distributions since July while its partners responded to 6.5 million people’s food aid needs in the past month.

“Redoubling such efforts with the highest sense of urgency is necessary to address the current challenging humanitarian situation,” the statement said.

DRMC and OCHA say efforts are now underway to reach out to the prioritized beneficiaries in January 2024, urging donors to scale up the response.

“Timely responding by enhancing financial support for humanitarian operations is critically imperative to make meaningful and lifesaving interventions in all affected regions,” they said, adding: “an integrated multi-sectoral humanitarian response is urgently needed in drought-affected regions to avert a deterioration”.