UN humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths on Monday allocated $40 million to support life-saving aid and civil defense efforts in Ethiopia amid ongoing conflict and drought.
According to a UN announcement, $25 million will be allocated from the Central Emergency Response Fund, as well as $15 million from the Ethiopian Humanitarian Fund.
The money will be used to intensify emergency operations in the country’s northern regions, where pro-government forces and Tigreyan rebels have been fighting for a year. According to Reuters, about 2.2 million Ethiopians have been displaced in Tigre.
The funds will also be used to support early response efforts in relation to the drought in southern Ethiopia.
Griffiths said in a statement that millions of Ethiopians were “living at the edge of a knife” as the country’s humanitarian crisis deepens.
“Across the country, the needs are increasing. This injection of cash will help aid organizations meet some of the most vulnerable needs for protection and relief,” Griffiths said.
The newly announced funding will support aid agencies providing security and “other life-saving assistance” to civilians affected by conflict in the northern Tigre, Amhara and Afar regions.
The United Nations said the funds for the drought-hit Somali and Oromia regions would be used to provide drinking water and prevent waterborne diseases such as cholera. It said the agencies would also help the rural communities to preserve their animals.
According to the announcement, the allocation increases the support of the Central Emergency Response Fund to Ethiopia to $65 million. It is now the second largest recipient of aid from the fund this year. The Ethiopian Humanitarian Fund’s aid to the country also now totals $80 million.
The UN said there is still a $1.3 billion funding gap for humanitarian work in Ethiopia, including $350 million for the response in the Tigre.