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Lack funding hampers the response to humanitarian needs in Ethiopia – UNHCR

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IOM Staff in Gaziantep loading humanitarian aid trucks headed to Northwest Syria. Photo: Enver Mohammed/IOM 2023

Limited funding has posed a major challenge in responding to humanitarian needs in Ethiopia, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has warned.

In an Ethiopia Protection Cluster Update Third Quarter 2023 released Thursday, the UN agency said as of September 2023, the protection cluster has been funded to around 12 percent.

According to the report, some 344.5 million U.S. dollars in funding is required, of which only 42.7 million dollars has been available with an unmet need of 301.8 million dollars.

“The main shocks driving humanitarian needs in Ethiopia during the third quarter of 2023 continued to be conflicts, climatic shocks, and disease outbreaks,” it said, adding that the multiple overlapping humanitarian shocks over the past few years, coupled with the high inflation rate, have contributed to worsened protection risks in the country, the severity and scale of which is among the worst in the world.

It further warned that in conflict-affected areas, internally displaced persons and host communities have suffered from attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure, leading to increased levels of distress and trauma due to violence witnessed or endured, and loss of livelihoods, property, and loved ones.

According to the report, despite the improvement of the security situation in Tigray following the November 2022 peace agreement, the already vulnerable internally displaced persons across Northern Ethiopia including those affected by the recent situation in Amhara are still with high needs for protection services.

It said Benishangul-Gumuz, Oromia, Gambella and Somali regions face increasing protection needs due to inter-communal conflict, food aid pause, conflict between government forces and unidentified armed groups, drought, flooding, and cholera.

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