Ethiopia seeks 1.6 bln USD as 30 mln people require humanitarian aid

ADDIS ABABA, May 24 (EI) — The Ethiopian government on Sunday announced a 1.6 billion U.S. dollars appeal to provide humanitarian relief aid to some 30 million people as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the East African country’s humanitarian situation.

The urgent appeal was made by the Ethiopian National Disaster Risk Management Commission (NDRMC), which disclosed that some 30 million Ethiopians need humanitarian aid, including emergency food assistance and relief support, state-run Ethiopian News Agency (ENA) reported on Sunday.

Mitiku Kassa, Commissioner of the Ethiopian National Disaster Risk Management Commission (NDRMC), said that the commission has appealed for 1.6 billion U.S. dollars emergency funding from the Ethiopian government and the international development assistance group to provided humanitarian support to vulnerable Ethiopians.

Ethiopia has currently 25 million people below poverty line, including some seven million people who are receiving regular relief as well as eight million safety net program beneficiaries, ENA quoted Kassa as saying.

The NDRMC Commissioner also disclosed that in addition to the 25 million vulnerable Ethiopians some five million others are also presently affected by the ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, as they lost their jobs due to the pandemic.

The Ethiopian National Disaster Risk Management Commission along with the Ethiopian Ministry of Finance have prepared a COVID-19 emergency response document following the direction of Ethiopia’s National COVID-19 Ministerial Committee, in which recommendations and activities outlined under the emergency response document are expected to be executed until the end of  September 2020.

According to Kassa, as part of the COVID-19 emergency response document the Ethiopian government has asserted that some 30 million Ethiopians need humanitarian relief aid until September 2020, which requires an estimated 1.6 billion U.S. dollars.

“The COVID-16 pandemic has come at a worse time, just as the country is undergoing major challenges,” the Commissioner said, as he emphasized that “the support of donors is imperative to extend humanitarian aid across the country.”

The Ethiopian National Disaster Risk Management Commission is presently conducting a comprehensive study that envisaged to determine the humanitarian assistance that may be required for the coming months.

On Saturday, the Ethiopian Ministry of Health reported that Ethiopia’s confirmed COVID-19 cases surged to 494, after 61 more people were confirmed, which is said to be the highest daily COVID-19 positive cases in the Horn of Africa country.

The ministry revealed that from the total of 3,757 medical tests that were conducted, 61 of them were tested positive for COVID-19, eventually bringing the total number of cases to 494.

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