The United Nations has provided US$65 million for humanitarian response in Ethiopia. More than 16 million people in Ethiopia need humanitarian assistance, of which about 4.5 million are in the Tigray region.

UN Humanitarian Chief Mark Lowcock said: “The lives and livelihoods of Ethiopians are being destroyed by drought and children are suffering from malnutrition.

Six months after the outbreak of the Tigray conflict, civilians continue to suffer the most. Women and girls have become victims of horrific sexual violence, and millions of people are struggling to obtain basic food and services, especially in some completely isolated areas. We now need to expand humanitarian assistance.”

Access to all of Tigray in need remains challenging, but humanitarian workers are working with authorities to overcome obstacles and provide relief to those who need it and reaching previously inaccessible areas in the southeast. Last week an inter-agency humanitarian convoy managed to reach the town of Samre, where it delivered emergency aid and food and organized a mobile health clinic at Samre Hospital. These recent reports show the promise of better access and the urgency of additional resources to help previously inaccessible people.

A total of $40 million will go to the relief effort in Tigray, which will fund emergency shelter, clean water, medical care, prevention and response to incidents of sexual and gender-based violence, and emergency telecommunications to support the humanitarian response. Funding comes as the security situation in Tigray remains volatile, humanitarian workers are unable to reach everyone in need and COVID-19 cases have been reported among displaced people in Mekelle.

The remaining $25 million will be used to fund humanitarian operations in other parts of Ethiopia, including the response to drought in Somalia and Oromia. It will support the treatment of severely malnourished children and the restoration of water supplies, and provide water to people affected by the drought, and enable humanitarian organizations to pre-position life-saving supplies.

In Ethiopia, including Tigray, ongoing humanitarian assistance is still insufficient to meet the needs of all affected populations. Additional funding and unrestricted humanitarian access are needed to ensure that humanitarian organizations and the Ethiopian government can expand to the required level. 

The $65 million allocated today is made up of $45 million from the UN-managed Ethiopia Humanitarian Fund, $25 million of which is earmarked for Tigray, and $20 million from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), $15 million of which will be dedicated to Tigray.

In Sudan, CERF and the Sudan Humanitarian Fund have previously provided $10.6 million for refugees from Tigray.

CERF is one of the fastest and most effective ways to help people affected by crises. Since its creation, it has assisted hundreds of millions of people with over $7 billion across more than 100 countries and territories.