Many Ethiopians have lost their livestock due to the current drought. 
Photo: RNE/ANVA.Many Ethiopians have lost their livestock due to the current drought. Photo: RNE/ANVA

The Worst Drought in Ethiopia in 30 Years

Last updated: 01.02.2016 // On Sunday 31st January, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) organised a high level conference on the drought crisis currently affecting Ethiopia. UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, and Ethiopia’s deputy Prime Minister, Demeke Mekonnen, were keynote speakers.

Other panellists included the EU commissioner for international cooperation, humanitarian aid and crisis response, Kristalina Georgieva, the administrator of USAID, Gayle Smith, the Executive Director of WFP, Etharin Cousin and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi. The meeting was moderated by UN Asssitant Secretary General and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator for OCHA, Kyung-Wha Kang.

At the conference, UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon described the drought as the worst Ethiopia had seen in 30 years, and underlined that no country could possibly tackle such a crisis on its own. Urgent humanitarian assistance is required – both in order to save lives and to safeguard the development results that Ethiopia has achieved over the past 10 years. The Government of Ethiopia was commended for its extensive efforts to manage the situation, including its allocation of close to 300 million UDS from its own budget. However, contributions from the international community remain vital. So far, less than half of the financing needs have been met. The international community’s ability to step up will determine the eventual outcome of the current situation. It is still possible that it will be the humanitarian catastrophe that never happened.

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