The EU has announced today new funding of €53.7 million in humanitarian aid for the most vulnerable people in Ethiopia, including those affected by the conflict in Ethiopia's Tigray region.Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič, who will arrive in Ethiopia tomorrow and will meet Ethiopian Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen, said: “The conflict in the Tigray region has exacerbated an already difficult situation in Ethiopia. Humanitarian needs – even basic survival needs like food security, health and shelter – are growing. What is more, violence is increasing in several parts of the country. On top of that, 5 months into the conflict, the situation in Tigray remains severe despite slight improvements, keeping millions of people in need of assistance, especially in rural and hard-to-reach areas. The key priority therefore remains to ensure humanitarian access to all those in need in Tigray. At the same time, the safety and security of humanitarian personnel must be ensured, in accordance with International Humanitarian Law (IHL). Since the beginning of the conflict in Tigray, the EU, together with its Member States, has been one of the largest humanitarian donors to the crisis and has been consistently advocating for the respect of IHL, including the obligation to protect civilians. I reiterate this call once more, condemning all crimes against civilians, including rape, and calling the perpetrators to be swiftly brought to justice.” The funding announced today will be dedicated to addressing the acute needs of those affected by conflict and climate shocks, including populations in displacement and the communities hosting the displaced. This comes on top of additional funding for the Tigray crisis last year, which brought the total EU funding for humanitarian partners in Ethiopia to over €63 million in 2020. Background
Internal conflicts, ethnic tensions and political crises in the region – including the Tigray conflict, which broke out in November 2020 – are expected to continue, leading to further displacement of populations, including internal forced displacement.In December 2020, the EU increased humanitarian funding for the Tigray region and its spill-over effect on other regions within Ethiopia and neighbouring Sudan by €24.8 million. In Ethiopia, EU-funded humanitarian partners had received an extra €18.8 million. The additional funding helped replenishing and pre-positioning life-saving goods and equipment urgently, providing life-saving services such as water and health, and enhancing treatment for malnutrition. This brought the total humanitarian support for Ethiopia to over €63 million in 2020.
The funding announced today will also be allocated to ensuring a rapid response capacity to new and rapid-onset conflicts and natural shocks, such as drought, floods, and epidemics. As Ethiopia is hosting almost 770,000 refugees from other African countries, humanitarian aid will also be allocated to addressing the critical needs of the most vulnerable refugees.