The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on Monday said it has only received 22 percent of the 351 million U.S. dollars that it needs to meet the requirements of 9.9 million people in Ethiopia, reported CGTN Africa.
In a recent Humanitarian Situation report, UNICEF stated that it needs the funds to meet the needs of 9.9 million people affected by drought conditions in four regions of Ethiopia.
The organization’s funding appeal to Ethiopia also includes funds needed to help 4.45 million children in the war-hit country. It aims to provide life-saving supplies, standard health, nutrition, and educational and sanitary services assistance to the needy.
In the statement, the UN organization also said nearly 650,000 children are out of school in Ethiopia’s Oromia, Southern and Somali regions due to drought conditions. It further disclosed that the drought condition has forced the closure of 2,000 schools across Ethiopia.
“Over four million people in 214 hotspot locations in the drought-affected regions are in urgent need of water,” the UNICEF statement disclosed.
The Horn of Africa region including Ethiopia is facing the worst climate-induced drought condition in 40 years. Three consecutive failed rainy seasons have brought hunger, malnutrition, and mass displacement to millions of people in various parts of Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, and Djibouti.
It is feared that up to 20mn people could go hungry this year as delayed rains exacerbate what was already the worst drought in four decades.
Ethiopia is already reeling from a brutal civil war in the northernmost region of Tigray. The conflict, which began in November 2020, has left some 9mn people food insecure there and in nearby regions Amhara and Afar. The war began after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed sent military troops into Tigray to oust the ruling TPLF after accusing the group of attacks on federal army camps.
The fighting between the federal forces and the TPLF and their allies has led to the death of thousands of people, while several million others have been displaced from their homes.