US$ 1.65 billion required to address COVID-19 and other humanitarian needs of 16.5 million people, up from the US$1 billion appeal made in January 2020 targeting 7 million people.
With just $288.3 million international contribution thus far, the revised requirement faces an urgent gap of $1.36 billion. Some critical, life-saving sectors have received no or minimal funding, including emergency shelter and non-food items, protection, logistics, emergency education, agriculture and health
Addis Abeba, June 09/2020: The Government of Ethiopia and humanitarian partners released today a revised 2020 humanitarian requirement outlining additional humanitarian priorities since the release of the 2020 Humanitarian Response Plan on 28 January. This joint Government and humanitarian partners’ document is targeting 16.5 million people with emergency food and non-food assistance at a cost of US$1.65 billion, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) said.
The annual joint government and humanitarian partners’ document released on January 28/2020 targeted 7 million people with emergency food and non-food assistance and was estimated to cost US$1 billion. The targeted beneficiaries of the humanitarian support was reduced from the 8.3 million people targeted at the beginning of 2019, which the UN hailed was “a result of better targeting of the most acute needs this year.” The joint document is now revised to US$1.65 billion targeting 16.5 million people.
“The spike in humanitarian needs is mainly due to COVID-19-related multi-sector impact. $506 million of the $1.65 billion revised requirement is for COVID-19 impact response. Of the 16.5 million people targeted for humanitarian response, 9.8 million people are targeted for COVID-19-related interventions.”
Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country in March 2020, the major drivers of humanitarian need in Ethiopia were, and continue to be today, food insecurity, displacement, disease outbreaks, rain shortfalls in some parts of the country and floods in others. In addition, the worst desert locust infestation reported in 25 years hit Ethiopia and neighboring countries in late 2019 and continues to affect many communities to date, leading to livelihood loss and deepening food insecurity.
The Commissioner of the National Disaster Risk Management Commission (NDRMC), Mr. Mitiku Kassa, noted that “like many countries around the world, Ethiopia has been dealing with the unforeseen threat paused by the COVID-19 pandemic since March 2020. The Government of Ethiopia has been taking the necessary measures to prevent further spread of the virus and boost mitigation and preparedness measures. COVID-19 is our immediate focus. However, we will not lose sight of the multi-faceted and simultaneous humanitarian challenges across the country, including food insecurity, desert locust, floods and protracted displacement. All these are further compounded by the pandemic.”
On her part, Dr. Catherine Sozi, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Ethiopia, stated that “COVID-19 pandemic is a health crisis first. Weak health systems are being stretched beyond capacity. The daily number of new COVID-19 cases has been drastically increasing since the second week of May. Gains made in other health outbreaks also risk relapsing. Cholera cases are being reported. Measles, yellow fever and other diseases should also not be overlooked. COVID-19 pandemic is also an economic crisis. Income losses as a result of slowing economic growth and unemployment threaten the lives and livelihoods of millions of food insecure and vulnerable Ethiopians.”
“Today, more than ever, the Government and people of Ethiopia need the steadfast support from international partners. The country needs urgent additional financing to not only control the pandemic before it further spreads across the country, but to also mitigate the adverse impact of COVID-19 on the already dire humanitarian context,” added Dr. Sozi.
At federal level, the COVID-19 response is coordinated by the national Emergency Coordination Center led by the NDRMC Commissioner. Regional-level coordination centers/ taskforces have also been established, mirroring federal coordination mechanisms. Humanitarian partners (UN and INGOs) are supporting the Government response to COVID-19 and other humanitarian needs. Humanitarian partners have also committed over $ 150 million to the COVID-19 National Emergency Response Plan through re-programming existing funds, whilst continuing to mobilize additional resources. UNOCHA/AS