The European Union (EU), through its Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) Directorate-General, has provided UNICEF with two million euros to support areas in Ethiopia that have been hit by desert locusts. The funding will help support communities in Afar, Amhara, Oromia, Somali, and Tigray regions that are highly affected by desert locust.
UNICEF predicts the number of children who need treatment due to severe malnutrition might rise by up to 24 percent this year, due to the effects of desert locusts, climate change, and the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. Thus, the number of children who need treatment would rise to 570,000 (including 18,400 refugees), from the originally targeted 460,000 (including 16,000 refugees).
“Children are always mostly affected when livelihoods are eroded and access to food and adequate nutrition becomes a challenge,” Adele Khodr, UNICEF Representative remarks. “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.”
With the first EU funding received in May 2020, UNICEF was able to procure and distribute 30,000 cartons of Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food for treating 30,000 severely malnourished children in Afar, Somali and Oromia states.
Yassine Gaba, Head of the EU Humanitarian Aid’s office in Ethiopia, said the EU, as one of the largest humanitarian donors globally, remains "committed to [supporting] efforts to address urgent humanitarian needs in Ethiopia."
“Children are highly vulnerable in times of natural and man-made disasters, and with European help and solidarity, I am confident that UNICEF will help address some of the most pressing needs,” Mr. Yassin stressed.
This latest funding will enable UNICEF to procure therapeutic foods and associated essential medicines to treat an additional 60,000 severely malnourished children. 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.
UNICEF will also provide meals to support 3,000 caregivers of children admitted to stabilization centers.
EU has provided €2.4 million to UNICEF to address the nutrition impact of multiple hazards such as climate-induced recurrent droughts, disease outbreaks, and internal displacements in Afar, Somali and Oromia states in May 2020.
https://t.me/News2merkato: The Ethiopian Herald