Once again, Ethiopia has been hit by a catastrophic drought. Last year and the year before, El Niño caused the worst droughts in Ethiopia for several decades. This year too, the rains have failed to come, and areas in the southeastern part of the country have been hardest hit. According to the authorities, 8.5 million people are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance, and more than four million people depend on food aid on a more permanent basis. It is estimated that more than 10 million people do not have access to safe drinking water. There are reports that drought-related diseases such as cholera, measles and meningitis are spreading fast.
‘The droughts we have seen in recent years in parts of Ethiopia show the immense humanitarian suffering climate change can cause in poor areas. In the face of increasingly frequent droughts, we must help to meet the acute humanitarian needs, while also seeking to prevent new crises,’ said Ms Eriksen Søreide.
The additional humanitarian funding from Norway will go to the local populations in the most severely affected areas. Norway’s humanitarian aid is channelled through the UN, the Red Cross and Red Crescent movement, and Norwegian humanitarian organisations.
Norway has provided a total of NOK 79 million in humanitarian support to Ethiopia in 2017. Organisations receiving funding include the Norwegian Refugee Council and a group of civil society organisations led by Norwegian Church Aid, the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), and the global fund for education in crises, Education Cannot Wait. In addition, Norway provides a core contribution to the UN agencies and the development banks that are engaged in humanitarian efforts.