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73 Million USD To Feed 750,000 Ethiopian Refugees, As It Is Projected to Run Out of Food By October

“We have a shortfall of 73 million USD for refugees’ minimum needs and we are deeply concerned that if funding cuts continue, they may consider returning to their places of origin when it is unsafe”, Country Director for Ethiopia Claude Jibidar said

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Hamzat Ibrahim Abaga
Hamzat Ibrahim Abaga
Hamzat Ibrahim Abaga is a graduate of Mass Communication and aspiring investigative journalist.

AFRICA. Ethiopia: The World Food Program (WFP) is said to have a shortfall of food supply to 750,000 Ethiopian refugees by October this year as UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the Ethiopian Government Refugees and Returnees Service (RRS) appealed for 73 United States Dollar (USD) support from donors. 

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According to WFP’s Representative and Country Director for Ethiopia, Claude Jibidar the agency is already experiencing a 73 million funding shortage, which will cause the vulnerable families who depend on food help to risk undernutrition, micronutrient deficiency accompanied by disease, and other infections. 

“We have a shortfall of 73 million USD for refugees’ minimum needs and we are deeply concerned that if funding cuts continue, they may consider returning to their places of origin when it is unsafe”, Jibidar said.

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Jibidar further stated that the food supply in Ethiopia was at point in 2015 reduced to 16 per cent, 40 per cent in 2021, and around June this year, it was reduced by 50 per cent. 

Also speaking, the UNHCR’s Deputy Representative in Ethiopia, Margaret Atieno, said that her agency is well concerned about the lack of food for refugees and pleaded for donations and contributions from donors and individuals to save the lives of the vulnerable families. 

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In her words, “We are grateful for what donors have provided so far, but more funding is needed quickly.”

Atieno added that drought in many countries has contributed to the problem of protecting refugees and, as such, it is stepping on the toes of the peaceful atmosphere enjoyed by the refugees and their host communities in the past. 

“We are very concerned about the lack of food for refugees. The continued lack of full rations for refugees, coupled with the impact of the most severe drought that the country has experienced in over 40 years, will greatly undermine the gains made in refugee protection and risk affecting the peaceful co-existence between refugees and their host communities,” Atieno said.

In her part, the Refugees and Returnees Service Director General Tesfahun Gobezay noted that Ethiopian refugees’ policy and commitment have been doing their best to ensure the sustainability of refugees and their host communities. 

The subsequent deduction of the overall humanitarian assistance fund for refugees in Ethiopia in recent years has not only affected the immediate basic needs of refugees but also hindered the long-term intended sustainable self-reliance and co-existence of refugees and host communities, Gobezay added.

Gobezay further said that the present predicament of the refugees across the country has created tension and uncertainty because of the struggle by many to meet the needs of the end. 

Ethiopia hosts more than a million registered refugees and asylum-seekers.  Most of them are from South Sudan, Somalia, Eritrea, and Sudan. Of these, over 85 per cent of refugees in Ethiopia fully depend on the monthly WFP food assistance.

Also Read: Sri Lanka Skeletal Remains: Record Inflation Rates and Food Crisis Plunge the Country into Utter Economic Crisis

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