The first ever-international summit to discuss humanitarian crises…

The first ever-international summit to discuss humanitarian crises in the world is called by the United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon. Scheduled to be held in Istanbul, Turkey, on Monday, the summit has already hit headlines across the world for controversy. A reputable humanitarian organisation, Doctors without Borders, has withdrawn its participation protesting what it says is a failure to protect civilians.

For those who may be interested in zooming the controversy closer to home, gossip sees something developing in that frontier. The United Nations has invited the Ethiopian government to attend the summit in a manner that is a little more than just participation, claims gossip. It wants to see Ethiopian authorities take the limelight, showcasing their effort and then record not only in hosting perhaps the largest population of refugees. The UN wants Ethiopia to demonstrate its success in averting what could have been the impact of the worst drought in 50 years, gossip disclosed.

Undoubtedly, a drought that has affected close to 20 million people has not had a result of gruesome images of skeletal bodies crawling in the dust, in search of food. Yet, declaring success so early may have an effect, which will disarm the government and its aid partners from doing more to help people on the fence, claims gossip. It is simply too soon to proclaim an accomplished mission; the worst is yet to be over, gossip warns.

A national humanitarian emergency estimate is due next month, the third such document to be released within the current Ethiopian fiscal year. It is estimated to have no less than eight million with a continued need for relief response, despite the torrential rain and the subsequent floods, gossip claims.

Resources across the world have been stretched so thin that Ethiopia is only one of the 37 countries in desperate need of humanitarian aid. No less than 125 million people, half of whom are forced to flee from their countries, need over 20 billion dollars to get support. As it stands, Ethiopia suffers from a gap of over half a billion dollars to meet its national emergency pleas.

It should be of little surprise to see a delegation led by Mitiku Kassa, commissioner for disaster & risk management, and comprising heads of UN agencies based in Addis Abeba tour western capitals in Europe and the United States in April 2016. The result was not something pleasant, for bilateral partners in these capitals such as Geneva, Oslo, New York and Washington D.C., gossip disclosed. Were it not for the modest gesture from the Americans, who granted 128 million dollars in support, the tour would have ended in vain, claims gossip.

It is also interesting to note that such high profile visits to overseas capitals representing Ethiopia, and its plea to the world, were conducted while those at the foreign office were in the dark, gossip disclosed.

It is customary in the corridor of power to include diplomats from Menelik II Avenue to be part of an entourage of foreign visits, says gossip. There would be at least junior desk officers embedded in such tours, not only to report to their respective bosses but also to coordinate the purpose of delegates to Ethiopia’s missions overseas.

Those at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are baffled at why they were left behind in such a crucial tour of life and death for millions of Ethiopians, gossip disclosed.

Published on May 24,2016 [ Vol 17 ,No 838]



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