ADDIS ABABA – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today announced a contribution of US$6 million from the Government of the People’s Republic of China to assist refugees and people suffering because of drought in the Somali region of Ethiopia.
“The generous contribution from the Government of China will help WFP to support millions of drought-affected people and hundreds of thousands of refugees,” said Samir Wanmali, Acting WFP Country Director in Ethiopia.
“As one of WFP’s key partners, we are extremely grateful for the commitment shown by China in helping Ethiopia to combat hunger and deprivation,” he added.
Over the last two years, China has contributed a total of US$14 million for WFP nutrition, relief and refugee programmes in Ethiopia.
With this US$6 million contribution, WFP will be able to support 350,000 people living either in refugee camps or in drought-affected communities for two months with over 4,000 metric tons of rice and 800 tons of vegetable oil.
“When disaster strikes, help should come from all sides; this is our philosophy and we think it should be the shared spirit of humanity,” said Tan Jian, Chinese Ambassador to Ethiopia, citing a Chinese saying. “China has come forward to demonstrate its solidarity with the Ethiopian people.”
An estimated 7.9 million people in Ethiopia currently require emergency food assistance. WFP’s focus is the Somali Region where it plans to feed 1.8 million people. WFP provides cash and food to people at risk of acute food insecurity because of climate shocks or conflict.
Ethiopia hosts the second largest number of refugees in Africa – more than 900,000 refugees mostly from Eritrea, Kenya, Sudan, South Sudan and Somalia. Some 650,000 refugees live in camps and depend on food assistance from WFP.
Conflict and drought in countries neighbouring Ethiopia continue to force people to seek refuge by crossing the border. In 2017, nearly 110,000 new refugees arrived in the country.
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WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.
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Melese Awoke, WFP/Addis Ababa, Tel.: +251 911201981