UN humanitarian agency says over 20 mln Ethiopians in need of aid

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ADDIS ABABA, Aug. 4 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said more than 20 million people are estimated to be in need of humanitarian assistance in Ethiopia in 2022.

The OCHA, in its humanitarian situation update for Ethiopia released Wednesday, said nearly three-quarters of those in humanitarian assistance are women and children.

It said the humanitarian situation in Ethiopia has significantly deteriorated during 2021, leading to increased humanitarian needs across the country. As the situation persists, more than 20 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance and protection in 2022.

According to the OCHA, conflict in the northern part of Ethiopia, violence in other parts of the country, and natural hazards such as floods and most notably the ongoing drought in the southern part of the country are the main drivers of humanitarian needs.

It said that the 2022 Ethiopia Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) requires 3.09 billion U.S. dollars to target more than 20 million people across the country. The HRP prioritizes efforts addressing the immediate lifesaving requirements of the most vulnerable people and access to essential services.

The annual humanitarian response plan further incorporates evolving needs caused by the extreme drought impacting the lives of millions of Ethiopians.

The OCHA said that the number of people in need of humanitarian assistance in Ethiopia has increased over the past decade amid growing man-made and natural catastrophes affecting the country.

According to figures from the OCHA, between 2013 and 2015, the number of people who were targeted for humanitarian assistance rose from 2.7 million to 4 million people with funding requirements between 500 million U.S. dollars to 600 million U.S. dollars.

The effects of the 2015-2016 El Nino coupled with other disasters sharply increased the number of people in need to 10.7 million and required 1.6 billion U.S. dollars to carry out the humanitarian response.

Starting at the end of 2017, conflict-induced displacement emerged as another significant driver of needs. The OCHA said the number of people in need drastically increased due to the COVID-19 pandemic, reaching 15.1 million in 2020, followed by another increase in 2021 due to the conflict in northern Ethiopia. Enditem

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