The United Nations recently allocated $17 million to provide 1.37 million Ethiopians with food. Severe drought, driven by the El Niño phenomenon, has caused livestock deaths and deteriorated food-security conditions in recent months. The number of food-insecure people has almost doubled from August to October, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. While cereal prices dropped last month as a result of carryover stocks from the previous year, prices of dairy and vegetables have soared as a result of food inflation.
“A timely response to the emergency is critical,” said Stephen O’Brien, under-secretary-general of humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator for the United Nations. “If we don’t act today, we face an even graver situation tomorrow, with more immense needs in 2016.”
The Central Emergency Response Fund of the United Nations pools donor contributions in a single fund so that money is available to start or continue urgent relief work anywhere in the world. Since its inception in 2006, 125 United Nations member states and dozens of private-sector donors and regional governments have contributed to the fund.