Press Release 2008
USAID Provides $70 million in Humanitarian Aid
June 10, 2008 Addis Ababa (U.S. Embassy)
The United States Embassy and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) announced today that the American people, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has provided approximately $70 million in emergency humanitarian assistance to Ethiopia in the last two months.
United States Ambassador Donald Yamamoto joined Mohammed Diab, WFP Representative and Country Director in Ethiopia, USAID/Ethiopia Mission Director Glenn Anders and Ethiopian Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Agency (DPPA) Director Ato Simon Mechale to highlight the donations.
“The United States remains committed to working with other donors and the Ethiopian government to ensure food security for all Ethiopian citizens. International support for Ethiopians is particularly important in a year when food insecurity has been exacerbated by the lack of March to April ‘belg’ rains,” explained Ambassador Yamamoto.
Diab added, “This support has helped WFP to continue to assist millions of Ethiopians in need of food. We appreciate USAID’s consistent, and increasing support for WFP’s emergency and development operations. However, as the numbers of people now in need of urgent relief assistance has risen to 4.5 million and another 5.8 PSNP beneficiaries will require additional food and cash transfers, a large food shortfall remains.”
The United States Government donation has come in response to the continuing humanitarian needs in Ethiopia, where combined effects of delayed and sporadic seasonal rains, failed belg crop production and high food prices are contributing to food insecurity, diminished pasture, and water shortage.
The $70 million donation, from USAID’s Food for Peace Program through WFP, provides Ethiopia with 95,510 metric tons (MT) of food aid, consisting of sorghum, wheat flour, corn soy blend, and vegetable oil. The majority of supplies, provided largely through the drawdown of the United States’ Bill Emerson Humanitarian Trust, are expected to arrive in Ethiopia in July.
This donation enhances ongoing U.S. Government efforts to address drought and humanitarian needs in Ethiopia. USAID’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) has been working and providing assistance in drought-prone areas, and has provided more than $10 million in non-food assistance in fiscal year (FY) 2008 to address drought-related vulnerabilities. USAID/OFDA’s activities have included the implementation of a measles vaccination campaign in Somali Region; treatment and vaccination of livestock in Somali and Oromiya regions; establishment of outpatient therapeutic programs and stabilization centers in Amhara, Oromiya, SNNP, and Tigray regions; and expansion and rehabilitation of water supply systems in Oromiya, SNNP, and Somali regions.
Since 1991, USAID has provided more than $2.85 billion in humanitarian assistance to Ethiopia, including $161.2 million in USAID/OFDA emergency interventions. Since July 2007 the USG has contributed 173,450 MT of emergency food assistance, valued at $121 million. In addition, USAID has provided 208,600 MT of food assistance, valued at $171 to WFP and NGO partners this fiscal year in
support of the Productive Safety Net Program.
In Ethiopia, WFP’s second largest operation in Africa, the agency assists households facing chronic food insecurity and affected by natural disasters, refugees, pregnant and nursing mothers, school children and individuals infected or infected by HIV-AIDS. WFP also helps communities through land rehabilitation programmes, and plays a leading role in capacity development initiatives.