Major Echo Donation to Support Emergency Assistance in Ethiopia

Published on 20 April 2010

ADDIS ABABA – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today welcomed a generous donation of US$23 million from the European Commission through the Directorate General for Humanitarian Aid (ECHO), to support food assistance for 2.3 million vulnerable people in the country.

"Even though the food security situation in some regions improved after the recent meher harvest, people in many areas are still suffering from the combined effects of poor and erratic rainfall over the past two years," said WFP Ethiopia Deputy Country Director, Lynne Miller. "This significant and timely donation will allow us to continue to provide food assistance to some of the most needy and vulnerable people in the country.”

The donation to WFP’s relief operation will cover the food needs of more than 2 million people for one month, through the purchase of 31,000 metric tons of wheat. In addition, 300,000 moderately malnourished children and pregnant and nursing women will receive fortified blended food for three months to boost their nutrition.

The handover ceremony at a government warehouse in Nazareth, attended by representatives from the Government of Ethiopia, the European Union Delegation to Ethiopia as well as WFP, was to be followed by a visit to a food distribution site  in Iteya, in Hetossa woreda, where food commodities from a previous EU contribution are being distributed. Over 400 community members, seriously affected by last year’s drought in the region, were due to receive 15 kg of wheat, fortified food (CSB), beans, and oil, to help cover their family’s needs for a month.

In 2009, ECHO contributed US$20 million to WFP’s Relief Programme as well as to a Targeted Supplementary Feeding Programme for malnourished children and their mothers.