Addis Ababa: The European Union (EU) has provided two million Euros to support vulnerable communities affected by desert locusts in the Afar, Amhara, Oromia, Somali and Tigray regions.
The support is in addition to 2.4 million Euros the EU provided to UNICEF in May 2020 to address the nutrition impact of multiple hazards such as climate-induced recurrent droughts, disease outbreaks, and internal displacements in the Afar, Somali and Oromia regions.
The support will be provided through the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
Due to the combined effects of desert locusts, climate change and the secondary impacts of COVID-19, UNICEF and its nutrition partners anticipate the number of children needing treatment for severe acute malnutrition this year to rise by 24 percent.
Therefore, the number of children UNICEF is targeting for treatment has increased from the 460,000 children initially planned (including 16,000 refugees) to 570,000 children (of whom 18,400 are refugees).
Children are always the most affected when livelihoods are eroded and access to food and adequate nutrition becomes a challenge, according to Adele Khodr, UNICEF representative in Ethiopia.
“We are therefore immensely grateful to the European Union for providing this funding at this critical time. It will enable us to scale up our nutrition interventions and ensure that life-saving treatment reaches the dramatically increasing number of children in need across Ethiopia.”
Head of the EU Humanitarian Aid office in Ethiopia, Yassine Gaba, said on his part that the EU is committed to support efforts to address urgent humanitarian needs in Ethiopia.
Children are the most vulnerable during times of natural and man-made disasters, and with European help and solidarity, UNICEF will help address some of the most pressing needs, he added.
This latest funding will enable UNICEF to procure therapeutic foods and associated essential medicines to treat an additional 60,000 severely malnourished children.
According to UNICEF, the grant will also support the warehousing and transportation of malnutrition treatment supplies to ensure they reach the last mile, especially in hard-to-reach areas.
The funding is being made available through the EU’s Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations directorate-general (ECHO).
Source: Ethiopia News agency