UN, Ethiopia launch $73 mn appeal for over 750K refugees


Addis Ababa, Aug 10 : The UN World Food Programme (WFP), the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Ethiopian Government Refugees and Returnees Service (RRS) have launched a $73-million joint appeal to provide food rations to more than 750,000 refugees living in the east African country.

In a joint press statement, the three organizations on Tuesday said the funds are essential to meet the food ration needs of the refugees for the next six months, Xinhua news agency reported.

“WFP will completely run out of food for refugees by October, leaving vulnerable families who are dependent on food assistance at risk of undernutrition, micronutrient deficiency, susceptibility to diseases and increased protection risks,” the statement added.

“Due to protracted funding shortfalls, WFP has already been forced to cut rations for 750,000 registered refugees living in 22 camps and five sites in hosting communities in Ethiopia’s Afar, Amhara, Benishangul-Gumuz, Gambella, Somali and Tigray regions,” the statement further said.

Food insecurity among refugees in Ethiopia has risen as a result of the cuts and is even further compounded by current global limitations to food availability, conflict, rising costs of food and energy as well as the fallout from Covid-19.

The three organisations further called on all partners to strengthen efforts to address both the medium and long-term food needs of refugees in Ethiopia.

Ethiopia is the third largest refugee-hosting country in Africa, with 870,507 refugees and asylum seekers as of June 2022, UNHCR figures show. The majority of the refugees originate from South Sudan, Sudan, Somalia and Eritrea.(IANS)