Vital UK aid announced today (20 January 2023) will reach the most vulnerable people across regions of rising insecurity in Ethiopia. More than 600,000 people in Ethiopia will benefit from improved access to critical food supplies or nutrition products.
The Minister for Development Andrew Mitchell announced the new funding package, including food supplies and other nutrition, in response to the country’s worsening humanitarian crisis, with violence and insecurity still on the rise.
Nearly 30 million people are now in need of emergency aid in Ethiopia, more than any other country in the world. In northern and western regions an estimated 22 million people are experiencing devastating food insecurity due to drought, conflict and economic pressures.
In Tigray, humanitarian access has improved since the signing of a peace agreement in November. However, huge numbers of people still have limited access to essential supplies and basic services including food, fuel and healthcare.
Violence and insecurity continue to rise elsewhere in Ethiopia, including in the Oromia region. With the security situation deteriorating, significant numbers of civilians have been displaced from their homes, with many beyond the reach of aid agencies, lacking access to essential services such as electricity, a mobile network, health facilities and banks.
UK funding to the Productive Safety Net Programme (PSNP) will address this humanitarian crisis by delivering aid to those most in need across Ethiopia including Oromia, Tigray, Amhara and Afar regions.
Minister for Development Rt Hon Andrew Mitchell MP said: ”With nearly 30 million people across Ethiopia facing severe hardships, this support from the UK comes at a critical moment. Our life-saving aid will reach hundreds of thousands of people – over half of which are women and children who are bearing the brunt of the country’s worsening crisis. To alleviate suffering and save lives, I urge the international community not to lose focus on the deteriorating humanitarian crisis in Ethiopia”.
The total UK funding announced today is £16.6 million supporting more than 600,000 people. An £11.6 million contribution to the PSNP will reach around 250,000 people living in extreme poverty with food and livelihood security.
Money will be pooled with multi-donor funding alongside international partners and will go to regions across Ethiopia including Oromia, Amhara, Afar and Harar city zones. During the last 17 years, the UK has provided £650 million to the programme.
Through the World Food Programme, a further £5 million of UK funding announced today, will also help treat almost 23,000 pregnant and lactating women suffering from moderate acute malnutrition, and provide better infrastructure for feeding programmes for 42,000 school pupils in 75 schools.
This critical support to malnourished mothers and children will reach the most vulnerable in desperate need, including those in conflict-affected areas of Northern and Western Ethiopia. World Food Programme funding will also be invested in boosting local production of nutrition products, benefitting a further 330,000 children per month.
British Ambassador Darren Welch said: ”This latest contribution from the UK is part of a longstanding relationship with the Government of Ethiopia to help address the country’s humanitarian challenges. UK support to the Productive Safety Net Programme and the World Food Programme will quickly reach those most in need of aid with assistance targeting the most vulnerable, including women and children who are too often the worst affected by climate shocks and conflict”.
Darren Welch is newly appointed as His Majesty’s Ambassador to the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and Permanent Representative to the African Union.
This funding comes just a month after UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly visited Ethiopia following the recent peace agreement and the opening of humanitarian routes. The funding means the UK will meet its commitment to spend £156 million in humanitarian aid to East Africa in the financial year 2022 to 2023.