April 2018, People displaced by violence in Gedeo Zone, Ethiopia. Credit: Mesfin Andargie/OCHA
The UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) released today US$15 million to urgently scale up humanitarian assistance to people affected by escalating inter-communal violence in Ethiopia.
Historical tensions between communities in southern Ethiopia escalated in April 2018 and led to large-scale displacements, damage of properties and loss of life. Close to one million men, women and children are currently being sheltered with already food insecure relatives or residing in cramped public buildings without adequate food and water and substandard sanitation and hygiene facilities.
“Under the leadership of Dr. Abiy Ahmed, new measures to bring unity and reconciliation have spurred great enthusiasm within the country and high international praise,” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres. “However, the impact of inter-communal tensions presents a challenge for the new leadership. Nearly one million people are displaced and require urgent help, especially during this rainy season. It is critical to act immediately and that is why CERF is releasing $15 million to enable urgent aid. The fund is one of the fastest ways to ensure aid reaches those who need it the most and I thank all donors to CERF for making this possible.”
CERF’s allocation will enable humanitarian partners to scale up life-saving assistance in support of the Government-led response. More than 36,600 people will receive urgent nutrition assistance, some 600,000 people will be supported with water, sanitation and hygiene service, 71,200 households will receive non-food item kits and 175,000 people will benefit from health-care service.
CERF is a crucial catalyst to kick start the scale-up efforts but more funding is urgently needed to respond to all of the needs of those affected by the violence. The 2018 Ethiopia Humanitarian and Disaster Relief Plan requires $1.6 billion to reach millions of people with food and non-food support. In late June, the Government of Ethiopia and humanitarian partners have jointly launched a Response Plan requesting an additional $117.7 million for the coming six months to deliver immediate life-sustaining support for those affected by the Gedeo-West Guji inter-communal violence.
Established by the United Nations General Assembly in 2005 as a global fund ‘by all, for all,’ CERF is a critical enabler of effective, timely and life-saving humanitarian action, helping frontline partners on the ground to kick start or reinforce emergency activities. Since its inception, the fund has assisted hundreds of millions of people with more than $5 billion across 100 countries and territories due to the generous and consistent support from its donors.