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UN seeks nearly $275 million in food and emergency aid for Ethiopia next year

UN seeks nearly $275 million in food and emergency aid for Ethiopia next year

The United Nations, Ethiopia and their humanitarian partners today appealed for more than 387,000 tons of food worth some $159 million for some 2.2 million needy people there, and a further $112 million of other assistance to meet emergency needs next year.

For the first time in the history of such appeals in Ethiopia, an effort has been made to handle separately chronic and acute caseloads. The 2005 humanitarian appeal is expected to address the acute needs of the unpredictable caseload, while a "productive safety net programme" will tackle longer-term food security needs.

Starting in January 2005, about 2.2 million people will receive emergency food assistance while more than 5 million chronically food insecure people will be provided assistance in the form of cash or food for labour intensive public works.

Beyond food assistance, the appeal seeks to address needs in the areas of agriculture, health and nutrition, water and sanitation, especially in drought-affected parts of the country. It also attempts to mainstream cross-cutting themes such as child protection and HIV/AIDS in these sectors.

In the health and nutrition category, 6.8 million children up to the age of 59 months will be targeted for measles vaccinations and vitamin A supplements. More than $83.7 million is needed this programme and for other initiatives, including those addressing malaria, meningitis, reproductive health, acute malnutrition, diarrhoea and other communicable diseases.

The appeal also aims to provide access to improved water and sanitation services for more than 2 million people at a cost of $10 million, while a further $10.8 million is required for the crop and livestock sectors.