Gov’t committed to work in collaboration with humanitarian agencies: Ministry
Addis Ababa, August 19, 2011 (Addis Ababa) - Agriculture State Minister Mitiku Kassa expressed commitment of the Ethiopian government to undertake successful activities in collaboration with international humanitarian agencies on issues related to humanitarian work.
The third World Humanitarian Day was marked here on Friday under the theme "People Helping People".
Mitiku on the occasion said the government is dedicated to ensure safety and security of humanitarian staff working within Ethiopia’s borders.
The Minister said international humanitarian agencies have been striving not only to address the needs of Ethiopians but also to provide life-saving assistance to refugees from Somalia, Sudan, Kenya and Eritrea.
"We are proud to say that the majority of humanitarian workers in our country are Ethiopians, who dedicate their lives to helping their fellow citizens and neighbours in times of need," he said.
Strong collaboration with the humanitarian community over the past years has made a real difference in people's lives by building their resilience to cope with the impacts of drought and related food insecurity.
As set out in the national policy on Disaster Risk Management the country is determined to move efforts towards prevention and mitigation of disasters and to ensuring that the affected populations are helped to recover from disasters that occur.
Activities are underway in collaboration with humanitarian partners to provide support to 4.5 million people, who are in need of assistance this year in the country, Mitiku said.
UN Humanitarian Coordinator UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, Eugene Owusu on his part said 12 million people are in need of emergency assistance in the Horn of Africa namely in Somalia, Kenya, Djibouti and Ethiopia.
Owusu said Ethiopia has welcomed over 100,000 refugees from Somalia, Eritrea, Sudan and other countries this year alone.
Additional refugee camps have been built to host the refugees and the government has invited the support of humanitarian agencies to assist those in need.
Together with the Ethiopian government efforts are underway to support more than 4.5 million Ethiopians and 260,000 refugees, he said.
In a message read out on the occasion, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the World Humanitarian Day is a day to consider what more to do to help to reach out to people enduring conflict, disaster and hardship.
The aim of commemorating World Humanitarian Day annually is to make the day genuinely reflective of the global humanitarian community.
The Day recognizes the sacrifices and contributions of those who risk their lives to give others help and hope. It is also about inspiring the spirit of aid work in everyone.