May 28/2022/ENA/ The United Nations will continue to reinforce its support for the needy populations in Ethiopia, UN Resident and Humanitarian Catherine Sozi said.
In an exclusive interview with ENA, the coordinator stated that there have been millions of people who need assistance in the country and the UN is working in cooperation with the government.
The conflict in the northern part of the country and drought in Oromia and Somali regions has put a significant number of the populations in the country through difficult times.
“We’ve got conditions that have made life very difficult for very many people and the UN is committed to work with donors, development partners, communities and especially with the government in trying to ensure that the people receive all the assistance.”
According to Sozi, the United Nations will continue to reinforce its support for the needy populations that they require, whether it is water, food, or good nutrition for children, and health.
The UN is planning to raise additional resources that will support the efforts of the government to reach the people in the regions, zones and woredas, the coordinator said.
Elaborating on the drought situation in Ethiopia, she expressed her grave concern on its impact and seriousness not only on the people but on their livelihood.
The camels and cattle which are part of this difficult ecosystem are suffering from shortage of water and fodder, the coordinator noted.
In its drought response plan, the UN has requested about 500 million US dollars until the end of the year as the weather forecast is not good and rain falls have been very scanty, Sozi stated.
However, even without an endorsement of the drought response plan and the humanitarian response plan yet, the donors including the United Nations itself have been contributing funding to purchase food, it was revealed.
Responding about donor countries’ humanitarian contributions, she pointed out that the size of the needy population is steadily increasing in Ethiopia but “the needs are much greater than the small monies that we have received now.”
The coordinator stressed that, “the needs are great and that is why resource mobilization efforts will continue. Now the forecast going into 2023 is that the rain may not come. And so we are worried about sustaining the food assistance and other aid assistance and then looking forward as to how long this will take.”
In addition to humanitarian assistance, the UN is looking ahead of time to move forward the development agenda that Ethiopia has promised, Sozi said.
“For instance, we know that the impact of the drought and its consequences is not the fault of any country. The climate change that is happening is a global climate change which leads to rising temperatures and scarcity of rainfall.”
The coordinator added: “Our job is not only to respond to the immediate needs but to look ahead and try and see how we can support the Ethiopian government in addressing the structural factors that have led the country to this point in time.”