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UK Increases Aid To Drought-Hit Ethiopia By £20m

Department For International Development (UK)

UK increases aid to Ethiopia by £20 million

The Department for International Development (DFID) today committed £20 million to the humanitarian crisis in drought-stricken Ethiopia, doubling the £10 million already pledged by the International Development Secretary, Douglas Alexander, in June.

The increase in funding is in response to a new appeal by the Government of Ethiopia and the UN, outlining the need for $425 million for food aid, and DFID's own assessment of the crisis, which confirms the worsening situation and the need for additional funds.

Up to one hundred thousand people are being treated in emergency centres with extreme cases of malnutrition and the United Nations estimate that a further 4.6 million are at risk as a result of the food shortages.

Rising food prices and rain failure in the southern and eastern parts of Ethiopia have resulted in serious food shortages in the country. In the last year only, food prices have risen 300% in Ethiopia.

The Secretary of State for International Development, Douglas Alexander, said:

"Crippling drought and rising global food prices has meant Ethiopia does not have enough food to feed its people. Close to five million people are at risk of starvation unless we take immediate action and it is for this reason that the Government is giving an additional £20 million. This money will ensure more people are being fed but further aid is needed. I urge other international donors to bring forward additional funding to ensure we can meet Ethiopia's needs."

The additional funding takes the UK's overall contribution to £25 million, 10% of the overall need.

NOTES

1. In May, DFID provided £5 million to the Humanitarian Response Fund following an appeal by the Government of Ethiopia and the UN. These funds were allocated to UN agencies and NGOs working on emergency health and nutrition interventions.

2. The additional £20 million will be allocated to the following funds:

* £4 million to the Humanitarian Response Fund for immediate disbursement to NGOs and UN agencies to scale up emergency feeding programmes. This is additional to the £5 million provided by DFID Ethiopia in May.

* £5 million for the Production Safety Net Programme to extend the July transfer to cover another three months. This is additional to the £22 million DFID provided in January as part of DFID's regular annual payment.

* At least £1 million to Medecins sans Frontiers to release core MSF funds for relief work in the Somali region.

* Up to £10 million to WFP for targeted supplementary feeding for 1.2 million people over three months.


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ENDS

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