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UN food agencies urge more support to Ethiopia’s drought response

ADDIS ABABA – Heads of three UN food agencies have jointly called on the global community to strengthen drought response interventions in Ethiopia.

The call was made on Monday in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa by the visiting chiefs of the three UN food agencies who are David Beasley, Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP), José Graziano da Silva, Director-General of the world Food and Agricultural Organizations (FAO), and Gilbert F. Houngbo, President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).

The officials, after their four-day joint visit in drought-affected Tigray and Somali regional states of Ethiopia from September 1 to 4, highlighted the critical food and nutrition security situations underway in the east African country.

Noting the need for collaborative efforts in tackling the drought scenario from deteriorating further, the three chiefs also praised the Ethiopian government’s efforts in responding to the crisis.

“We need to be grateful to what the Ethiopian government has been able to achieve working with donors,” said Beasley.

The Government of Ethiopia and its humanitarian partners had launched the 2017 Humanitarian Requirements Document looking for 948 million U.S. dollars to reach close to 5.6 million people with emergency food and non-food assistance.

As rains failed for the third consecutive year in southern and southeastern parts of Ethiopia, the worst drought affected areas, the number of Ethiopians who are in need of emergency humanitarian assistance has since then escalated to more than 8.5 million during the second half of 2017.

The three agency chiefs also discussed with senior Ethiopian government officials and representatives from other partner organizations on how best to strengthen the support to continue meeting Ethiopia’s development goals while simultaneously addressing humanitarian challenges along the way.

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