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The Kenya Forum | 10.8 million children in Ethiopia in need of emergency aid - UNICEF - The Kenya Forum

February 20, 2024

Summary

Volatile security situations continue to hamper humanitarian access causing delays in relief assistance reaching vulnerable communities.

More by Correspondent

10.8 million children in Ethiopia in need of emergency aid – UNICEF

10.8 million children in Ethiopia in need of emergency aid – UNICEF

Humanitarian crisis in Ethiopia

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on Monday announced that 10.8 million children in Ethiopia need emergency humanitarian aid in 2024, even as volatile security situations continue to hamper humanitarian access causing delays in relief assistance reaching vulnerable communities.

According to UNICEF’s latest Ethiopia Humanitarian Situation Report, at least 20 million people, including about 10.8 million children, require emergency humanitarian aid in 2024 owing to “new and ongoing drought, conflict, and disease epidemics are compounded by increasing food insecurity and forecast flooding events”.

Disease outbreak

Some of the disease outbreaks in Ethiopia include malaria, cholera, and measles. 34,000 cholera cases were reported in early February.  The ongoing cholera outbreak is one of the longest ever recorded in Ethiopia.

The disease outbreak has been attributed to an overwhelmed health system, lack of access to safe water and sanitation facilities, and poor hygiene practices, and living conditions.

Overall, in 2023, over 4.1 million malaria cases were reported since 1 January 2024.

Drought

The El – Niño-driven drought has also led millions to suffer.

“Multi-sectoral response scale-up for an estimated four million affected by the current El – Niño-driven drought in Afar, Amhara, Tigray, and parts of Oromia, Somali, and Southern regions is urgently needed to save-lives,” the report says.

Food relief
“Overall, 6.6 million food-insecure people affected by drought and other emergencies across Afar, Amhara, Benishangul Gumz, Central Ethiopia (CER), Dire Dawa, Gambela, Harari, Oromia, Sidama, Somali, South Ethiopia (SER), Southwest Ethiopia (SWEP), and Tigray, regions require food assistance in the first quarter of 2024.”

Unicef further maintains that strengthening health systems, disease prevention and control measures, and investment in the rehabilitation of water sources are needed as a critical part of the required multi-sectoral response.

Health Crisis
The health system has been negatively impacted by conflict in Amhara, Tigray, and Oromia, with damaged health and water facilities, and reduced availability of skilled health workers and other human resources. Access to healthcare and safe water sources by vulnerable communities is adversely impacted.

 

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