Ethiopia Weekly Humanitarian Bulletin, 12 June 2017

Report
from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 12 Jun 2017

Key Issues

  • From the start of July 2017, relief food operators will face shortfalls which requires urgent response
  • Ethiopian irregular migrants in Saudi Arabia requested for an extension of the amnesty period, scheduled to end on 29 June

Following poor performing spring rains, the number of people receiving humanitarian assistance has increased from 5.6 million to 7.8 million in the first quarter of the year, and is expected to heighten further in the second half of the year. Increased funding is needed urgently, in particular to address immediate requirements for food and nutrition, as well as clean drinking water, much of which is being delivered long distances by truck as regular wells have dried up.

Major food pipeline break at the end of June raises alarm

From the start of July 2017, relief food operators will face shortfalls which requires urgent response. Of greater concern is that the depletion of relief food stock comes at a time when the country enters the July-September lean season. The Government of Ethiopia and humanitarian partners have warned that the pipeline break will exacerbate the already dire nutrition situation in the coming months and called for urgent allocation of resources to avert a major food and nutritional crisis. The call was made during a High-Level Horn of Africa Partnership Mission who visited Ethiopia from 8 to 10 June 2017 to witness first-hand the severity of the drought and the ongoing Government-led response.

Over the course of the mission, participants met with several Government officials, members of the Ethiopia Humanitarian Country Team, including UN, INGO and Donor representatives, as well as representatives from the African Union Commission. Briefings and discussions were centered on the impact of the current drought crisis that is leaving its devastating footprint across several countries in the Horn of Africa, including Ethiopia. On 9 June, the mission visited and interacted with internally displaced (IDP) communities as a result of the drought in Koracle IDP) site in Wardher woreda, Somali region, receiving a first-hand view of the impact of the drought on the lives and livelihoods of affected communities. The mission also witnessed the Ethiopia government-led humanitarian response supported by international humanitarian partners, and the challenges they face in addressing immediate life-saving needs.

While the African Development Bank has committed to explore innovative financing mechanisms to address growing needs, the African Union has committed to hold a Donors’ Conference following the upcoming AU Summit to shed light on the humanitarian situation in the Horn of Africa. Ethiopia is the first leg of the six-day long mission where at the end of the mission the delegates are expected to take key messages back to their capitals to raise awareness and support resource mobilizations effort to address urgent humanitarian needs across the Horn.

Ethiopian irregular migrants in Saudi Arabia requested for an extension of the amnesty period

As of 12 June 2017, 21,811 Ethiopian irregular migrants have returned from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) following the declaration on 29 March 2017 by the Saudi Government that all irregular migrants in KSA must leave the country within a 90-day amnesty period. The Ethiopian Embassy in KSA has issued travel documents to 70,000 irregular migrants of which 80 per cent are women and children. Returnees are asking for an extension of the amnesty period and for support to cover travel expenses. The Government of Ethiopia is using social media, SMS and TV spots to sensitize potential returnees before the amnesty expires on 29 June 2017. Meanwhile, in order to minimize the effect of the additional strain on households and resources that the large number of expected Ethiopian migrant returnees might add, KSA representatives in the HoA mission have committed to support integration efforts through shelter provision and job creation interventions in Ethiopia.

For further information, contact: ocha-eth@un.org

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