The World Bank Group has approved a $100 million fund to support Ethiopian government’s response to the ongoing drought.
Failed spring short rains and erratic long summer rains caused by El-Niño in 2015 led to serious spikes in food insecurity across the country.
Humanitarian agencies say relief food recipients climbed from 2.9 million in January 2015 to 10.2 million in 2016.
The additional support will prevent millions of households from falling deeper into poverty
This is in addition to 7.9 million “chronically food insecure” people that are receiving support through a regular safety net programme funded by the government and donors.
The country is currently experiencing the worst drought in 50 years, with over $18 million people currently requiring emergency support.
The $100 million is in additional financing to the Productive Safety Net Project 4 (PSNP4).
The Bank said the effects of the drought are concentrated in already poor areas and are pushing poor people deeper into poverty.
“PSNP is providing regular cash or food transfers to 8 million of the poorest people in those areas, which are most often hit by drought,” Carolyn Turk, World Bank Ethiopia country director said.
“The additional support will prevent millions of households from falling deeper into poverty, as a result of the drought.”
The PSNP4 is implemented in 318 districts, reaching 8 million food insecure people per year and has a budget of approximately $3.6 billion from the government and 11 development partners.
“This additional financing will allow the programme to extend the duration of safety net support to existing beneficiaries. It is also delivered through national systems, which are the first line of defence against shocks, such as drought, in Ethiopia,” Sarah Coll-Black, a World Bank official, said.