Senior UN officials in Ethiopia urge donors to note urgency of humanitarian needs

23 February 2005

With food stocks running dangerously low in Ethiopia, the United Nations representatives there have called on Governments wishing to donate humanitarian aid to the Horn of Africa country to make firm pledges to the joint humanitarian appeal "as soon as possible."

Government representatives should "convey to their capitals the urgency of the situation for food and non-food assistance," the UN Country Team said in a statement released today.

The 2005 Joint Humanitarian Appeal for Ethiopia was launched on 23 December 2004 and seeks 387,482 tons of food valued at approximately $159 million for the estimated 2.2 million needy people. Another $112 million of non-food assistance is needed to meet emergency humanitarian needs for the year, the Country Team said, noting that the food needs were now only 30 per cent funded and the non-food needs almost not at all.

New crises and hot spots have also increased the necessity for emergency aid since the appeal's launch.

Continued drought and loss of livestock in several zones in the Afar region have placed more people in need of assistance, while conflicts between the Oromos and Somalis at the border with Somalia have created internal displacement, the UN Country Team said.


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