Donor aid still sought to complement gov’t efforts of mitigating drought

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Addis Ababa February 23/2016 Ongoing efforts of the Ethiopian government to curb impacts of drought should be assisted by donors and the international community, according to Save the Children.

Efforts of the government to tackle drought will need more support from donors and the international community, announced Save the Children Country Director John Graham.

His statement follows a field visit to Sitti zone of the regional state of Somali to observe drought response activities in the affected areas.

The visiting team included Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of Save the Children Canada, Sweden, Denmark and Hong Kong.

In a media briefing he gave after the visit, John Graham mentioned the active role of Save the Children in responding to people affected by the El Nino triggered drought.

Save the Children has been working with the government in providing food, water and sanitation services to those highly affected by the drought, according to the country director.

He said the organization for children has so far allocated USD 50 million with further plans to make it USD 100 million.

Graham commended the Ethiopian government for properly managing the drought. The government has already committed 387 million USD to help combat the crisis.

According to Taddesse Bekele, Senior Advisor at the National Disaster Risk Management Commission, the government is offering drought victims with multi hazard and multi-sectoral response.

“Whenever there is a need for aid, provision of food alone may not address our problem, there is additional need for services like health, education, water and others,” the advisor said.

Launching school feeding program is also vital in areas where students face lack of food to continue their education, he said.

Stressing on the need for continuous monitoring of the situation, Tadesse called upon donors and partners to closely work with the government in mitigating the impacts of the drought.

Support obtained from donors has now reached 48 per cent which is encouraging, according to Tadesse. The number of people in need of food aid now stands at 10.2 million.

It was indicated that Ethiopia’s refugee population of 750,000, which is the largest in Africa, also requires big international support.