Humanitarian partners launch campaign to address funding gaps in Ethiopia drought response

(Addis Ababa, 23 March 2016):  Humanitarian partners today launched a 90-day campaign to raise awareness on the urgent need for an additional funding for the drought crisis in Ethiopia to address the humanitarian resource gap.

“Ethiopia is currently contending with one of the most serious climatic shocks in recorded history with ten million people facing lost harvests and livestock as well as severe water shortages and health risks,” said Ms. Ahunna Eziakonwa-Onuchie, UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Ethiopia.  “We are launching this campaign to advocate for increased funding commensurate with the scale and severity of this crisis.’

While Ethiopia’s 2016 US$1.4 billion appeal has received over US$758 million from the Ethiopian government and the international community, significant life-saving gaps remain across all sectors. The four months lead time to get relief commodities to people in need means that action is required now.

Commending the Ethiopian government, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator noted that the government is one of the largest financial contributors to the crisis so far and also leads in the coordination of a complex inter-sector response, which uses government systems and relies on national capacity.

`We are indeed thankful and encouraged by the donors who have stepped up to support Ethiopia in this drought crisis,’ said the Commissioner Mitiku Kassa, National Disaster Risk Management Commission. `Some of these donors joined the Government to respond at the onset of the crisis in October last year. They did so knowing that it costs three times more to treat severe malnutrition than to provide the food and other associated support that might have prevented that child’s descent into severe acute malnutrition.”

Noting that the international community stands to gain much from supporting Ethiopia in the drought response, the Humanitarian Coordinator observed that drought response is not just about saving lives  it is about protecting development gains – gains which the Government and its development partners have worked tirelessly to build up over decades.

“The Government’s vision for development, enshrined in the second Growth and Transformation Plan, promises to steer Ethiopia further down its already remarkable path of progress,” said Ms. Eziakonwa-Onuchie. “We need to rally urgently to protect the development gains of Ethiopia over the past decade and ensure the country remains on its remarkable development trajectory. Urgent and substantial investment in the humanitarian crisis response this year is the only way to ensure this and we must act now.”

UN @70- UNICEF @63 in Ethiopia

UNICEF EPI Communication Specialist Shalini Rozario with a todler at the Polio NIDs campaign lainch in Jijiga
UNICEF was created in 1946, and began its operation in Ethiopia in 1952. UNICEF Ethiopia’s Country Office is located within the UN-Economic Commission for Africa compound in the capital city, Addis Ababa. The Country Office is supported by zonal offices present in Assosa, Bahirdar, Dollo Ado, Gambella, Gode, Hawassa, Jijjiga, Kabri Dahar, Mekelle, Oromia and Semera.UNICEF Ethiopia employs approximately 400 highly-qualified and experienced staff, both international and national professionals.

The purpose of UNICEF’s work is to support the realisation of the rights of every child, especially the most disadvantaged children – victims of war, disasters, extreme poverty, all forms of violence and exploitation. UNICEF is uniquely positioned to perform this role, given its comparative advantages. These include: an explicit mandate based on the widely ratified Convention on the Rights of the Child; proven capacity in multiple sectors; a strong field presence; and a mandate that embraces both long-term development and humanitarian response.

A key principle underpinning UNICEF’s work is equity, whereby all children have an opportunity to survive, develop and reach their full potential, without discrimination, bias or favouritism. A child growing up in Gambella Region, for example, should have the same opportunities to receive a quality education and access health and protection services as a child growing up in Addis Ababa.

There is increasing evidence that a focus on the most disadvantaged and excluded children, families and communities not only accelerates progress towards fulfilment of the rights of all children and reduces disparities but also brings about social and economic growth. In all of its work, UNICEF takes a life-cycle based approach to child development, which recognises key stages in a child’s life as it grows into adulthood, and designs and implements holistic and integrated approaches to health, education and social protection that are appropriate to each of the key life stages.

Important results to which UNICEF Ethiopia, in cooperation with other partners, has contributed include: achievement in reducing under-five mortality by two thirds between 1990 and 2012- the required reduction for meeting the target of Millennium Development Goal 4 (MDG 4)-three years ahead of schedule; meeting MDG 7c by halving the number of people without access to safe water since 1990 – 57 per cent of the population now using safe drinking water; a reduction in neonatal mortality from 37 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2010 to 27 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2014;a reduction in the proportion of stunted children from 58 per cent in 2000 to 40 per cent in 2014; adoption of the National Social Protection Policy and a commitment by the Government of Ethiopia to end Harmful Traditional Practices by 2025 and establishment of Vital Events Registration structures at national level.

Through the Growth and Transformation plan of the Government of Ethiopia, UNICEF as part of the United Nations Country Team will contribute to four pillars of the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF): a) the Resilient, Sustainable, and Green Economy, b) Basic Social Services, c) Governance, Participation and Capacity Development and d) Equality and Empowerment, with the goal of supporting the second Growth and Transformation Plan to progressively realize children’s rights within the framework of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and other international commitments.

10,000 women run to empower a nation in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

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10,000 women are expected to take part in the 2015 Women First 5 km race, taking place in Addis Ababa on 15th March 2015.

The race’s motto is “empower women, empower a nation”. The UN in Ethiopia is working in partnership with the Great Ethiopian Run to promote the role of women in development and call for women to be given the same socio-economic opportunities as men.

These messages are being promoted in many ways by the UN in Ethiopia. In November 2014, 40,000 people celebrated women by taking part in the 14th Great Ethiopian Run, Africa’s largest 10 kilometre run, and the role of women was also promoted during the regional race in Gambella earlier this year.

Ethiopia is on track to achieve many of its targets under the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), but it has a long way to go to achieve gender equality and women’s empowerment. These are factors that are recognized as critical in the growth of any rapidly developing country, like Ethiopia.

Progress is still lagging on MDG 3 – to promote gender equality and empower women and MDG 5 – improve maternal health.

That is why UNICEF Ethiopia is joining with other government and non-government organisations to call for a greater commitment to the fulfillment of women’s rights, improving their access to equal opportunities and resources within and outside their homes.