World Food Programme aid in Ethiopia to continue following donations

18 Nov 15

Key donors have saved the World Food Programme from suspending its food assistance to those affected by drought in Ethiopia.


Ethiopian girls

Ethiopian girls. Credit: Shutterstock


Due to climate phenomenon El Niño, more than 8 million people in the country are in need of emergency food assistance. The rapidly increasing scale of the crisis led to a huge funding gap for the WFP. The United Nations agency also had to massively scale back its operations in refugee-hosting countries neighbouring Syria earlier this year due to financial difficulties.

The suspension of food aid, which would have come into effect at the end of this month, was avoided thanks to contributions from Canada, Norway, Switzerland and the UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund who donated $17m on Monday.

The American international development agency USAID has also confirmed an in-kind contribution of $17m to the WFP, after contributing $97m to the crisis last week.

John Aylieff, WFP representative and country director in Ethiopia, said: “These donors have shown incredible leadership in their response to the current crisis, and their generous contributions will help people cope with this humanitarian crisis exacerbated by El Niño.”

However even with the new contributions the WFP has only 7% of the $228 budget required for food and nutrition interventions required up until June 2016.

France is also expected to announce a funding contribution to the WFP at the end of this week in an effort to support refugees in Africa. 

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