Posted on Thursday, 24 December 2015 10:39

UK to scale up Ethiopia crisis response

By Tinishu Solomon

Save the Children UK says Ethiopia is experiencing its worst drought in 50 years The United Kingdom (UK) says it will scale up its response to Ethiopia's growing food crisis, which has left 18 million Ethiopians in urgent need of relief.

With the failure of both the Belg rains and the usually reliable Kiremt summer rains, "the worst drought in Ethiopia for 50 years is happening right now," Save the Children UK said in a statement.

they need the help of the international community

The UK says it will now provide an extra £30m in aid for Ethiopia, where crop failure and the death of livestock, have led to widespread food shortages.

The new funding was announced after Nick Hurd, UK's new International Development minister, travelled to the Horn of Africa nation in December.

"The scale of the drought is similar to the one that killed so many in 1984," Hurd said. "This time the Ethiopian government is in a much stronger position to help its people.

"However, they need the help of the international community."

The United Nations and the Ethiopian government have launched an appeal for an additional £923 million for the relief efforts. New funding from Britain will ensure families get emergency food, Hurd said.

The UK is already the second largest bilateral humanitarian donor in Ethiopia.

The new support would bring UK's total funding to the current humanitarian response in Ethiopia to £113 million, according to the Department for International Development (DFID).

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