The United States to Ethiopia’s rescue

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Ethiopia will soon receive a donation of US$ 70 million in emergency food assistance from the American people, the US Embassy and the UN World Food Programme (WFP) announced Tuesday.

The US Agency for International Development (USAID) said the donation was in response to the continuing humanitarian needs in Ethiopia, where the combined effects of delayed and sporadic seasonal rains led to failed crop production and high food prices, resulting in food insecurity, diminished pasture and water shortage.

“The United States remains committed to working with other donors and the Ethiopian government to ensure food security for all Ethiopian citizens,” said US Ambassador Donald Yamamoto, adding that international support for Ethiopians was particularly important in a year when food insecurity had been exacerbated by low rainfall.

WFP Representative and Country Director in Ethiopia, Mohammed Diab, remarked: “This additional food supply will help WFP continue assistance to millions of Ethiopians in need of food. We appreciate USAID’s consistent support for WFP’s emergency and development operations.”

The donation, from USAID’s Food for Peace Programme, provides Ethiopia with 95,5 10 metric tonnes of food aid, consisting of sorghum, wheat flour and vegetable oil.

Provided mainly through the draw-down of the United States’ Bill Emerson Humanit arian Trust, the supplies are expected to arrive in Ethiopia next month.

According to USAID, this donation enhances ongoing US government efforts to addr ess drought and humanitarian needs in Ethiopia.

The agency’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) has been working and providing assistance in drought-prone areas, and has provided more than US$ 10 million in non-food assistance this year to address drought-related vulnerabilities .

USAID has since 1991 provided more than US$ 2.85 billion in humanitarian assistance to Ethiopia, including US$ 161.2 million in USAID/OFDA emergency interventio ns.

Since July 2007, the US has contributed 173,450 metric tonnes of emergency food assistance, valued at US$ 121 million. USAID has also provided 208,600 metric tonnes, valued at US$ 171 million to WFP and non-governmental partners this year in support of Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Programme. Panapress.

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