• The United Nations Under-SecretaryGeneral for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mr. Mark Lowcock, visited Ethiopia from 8 to 11 September 2019 on a joint with PBSO mission
• “Ethiopia is challenged by chronic and multifaceted crises, including drought and flooding, disease outbreaks and intercommunal violence that forced millions of people to flee their homes,” said Mr. Lowcock.
Under-Secretary-General, Mr. Mark Lowcock’s mission to Ethiopia, 8-11 September 2019
The United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mr. Mark Lowcock, visited Ethiopia from 8 to 11 September 2019.
He was accompanied by Mr. Oscar Fernandez-Taranco, Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support (PBSO) and Ms. Cecilia Jimenez-Damary, Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons who is on a separate mission to Ethiopia.
Mr. Lowcock called for urgent funding to ramp up support for the Government-led response to displacement and other humanitarian needs, as well as durable solutions efforts. More than 8 million people in Ethiopia need food, shelter, medicine or other emergency assistance.
Mr. Lowcock started his mission by visiting IDPs,returnees, and host community peacebuilders in Chitu kebele of Gedeo zone, SNNPR to see firsthand the impact of the displacement caused by ethnic conflict between the Gedeo and West Guji communities in April 2018. The Emergency Relief Coordinator was accompanied by Ethiopia’s National Disaster Risk Management Commissioner, Mr. Mitiku Kassa, as well as local Government authorities who looked at urgent humanitarian assistance and durable support to displaced populations and returnees.
“Ethiopia is challenged by chronic and multi-faceted crises, including drought and flooding, disease outbreaks and inter-communal violence that forced millions of people to flee their homes,” said Mr. Lowcock at the end of his visit.
Mr. Lowcock added, “Most of the people who have been returned to their areas of origin are still living in a situation of secondary displacement.
We met with families that were in a limbo, living close by their destroyed homes and worried they would not have the opportunity to restart farming and other livelihoods they lost when they fled last year. These families and others in the host communities are in dire need of food, shelter and basic healthcare, as well as recovery support.”
Ato Mitiku Kassa, Commissioner of the National Disaster Risk Management Commission (NDRMC), shared the Government of Ethiopia’s strategy to help people affected by the displacement and what the international humanitarian community can support. “The Government of Ethiopia with partners is doing its best to rehabilitate IDPs who were displaced due to conflict. The Government has developed a strategic plan that will help to return IDPs in three phases: first phase being those displaced from border areas, the second being those displaced from one region to another, and, the third group being those returned and staying temporarily around their places,” said the commissioner.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.