Ethiopia Calls for $118m Aid for Displaced People


The people were displaced following the inter-regional disputes between Gedeo and West Guji zone




Ethiopia requires 118 million dollars in humanitarian assistance for the nearly one million internally displaced people following inter-regional disputes of Gedeo and West Guji zone.

The funding is needed to provide food, water, sanitation and other non-food items. Food assistance takes up the largest share of the need at 62.3 million dollars, while 20.5 million dollars is needed for water and sanitation. Another 18.4 million dollars is to be spent on non-food items while 6.4 million dollars will be allocated for nutrition.

The conflict had began in early June 2018 in Gedeo in Southern Nations, Nationalities & Peoples Region (SNNPR), and West Guji zones of the Oromia Regional State, according to Debebe Zewidu, communication director of the National Disaster Risk Management Commission (NDRMC).

The government and host communities are currently providing support, but humanitarian partners want to scale up the response despite challenging situations and significant resource limitations.

United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the World Health Organisation (WHO), the World Food Programme (WFP), World Vision, MSF-Spain, People in Need, and International Resource Committee (IRC) are the partners currently operating in the areas. GOAL, Save the Children, Cooperative for Assistance & Relief Everywhere (CARE), Plan International and the Ethiopian Red Cross Society (ERCS) are also partners in a joint effort.

At the moment, the government and partners have mobilised around seven million dollars to spend on assistance by diverting resources from existing programs set aside for ongoing drought, flood and conflict responses in the country, according to Malda Nadew, National Information Officer at Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA).

A response plan has also been developed with the objective of delivering immediate life-sustaining assistance, ensuring better living conditions, mitigating potential health risks and providing peace and security in a coordinated effort with regional and zonal authorities.

Mitiku Kassa, commissioner of the NDRMC and a team of experts from government agencies have visited the settlements to coordinate their responses.

The team is composed of officials from the ministries of Health; Water, Irrigation & Electricity; Education and Agriculture. They are tasked with surveying the condition and providing preventive means against disease outbreaks and health threats related to overcrowded living conditions and scaling up distribution of food and non-food items.

The government and partners are currently providing food and non-food assistance from the Humanitarian & Disaster Resilience Plan (HDRP). And according to Debebe, “the number of displaced people as of July 05 has reached 955,000, of which 770,000 are from Gedeo, and 185,000 are from the West Guji zone.”

Ireland has committed to an additional funding of over 1.8 million dollars and Sweden is to provide 2.3 million, according to the latest update of the UNOCHA.

It is resettlements without the consent of the host community that are the leading causes of internal displacement in developing countries, according to Yilebes Addisu (PhD), department head of Disaster Risk Management & Sustainable Development at Bahir Dar University.

“To control such situations with minimum fatalities the government should have a plan in place for the pre-conflict and post-conflict stages,” he says. “This should include an effort by the respective zones and administrations to create a more integrated and cohesive community.”



By BERHANE HAILEMARIAM
FORTUNE STAFF WRITER

Published on Jul 07,2018 [ Vol 19 ,No 949]


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