Tuesday, July 24, 2018 4:53 pm
The UN on Tuesday launched an appeal for 22.2 million U.S. dollars to respond to the internal displacement crisis in Ethiopia’s Gedeo and West Guji zones.
The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) revealed that since April this year some 970,000 people have fled their homes due to fighting between communities along the border of Ethiopia’s Gedeo Zone in the Southern region and West Guji Zone in Ethiopia’s largest Oromia region.
“The displaced communities in Gedeo and West Guji are in great need of humanitarian support to help them get through Ethiopia’s cold and rainy season,” said IOM’s Director General William Swing.
Noting the vast majority were displaced in June alone, IOM also called on the international community to support the displaced people as well as the Ethiopian government’s efforts in addressing the humanitarian needs of people affected by the latest inter-communal violence.
“The current funding levels for a sudden onset crisis of this scale – nearly 1 million people displaced in such a short period of time – are nowhere near acceptable,” said Swing.
IOM, which has been scaling up its response in Gedeo and West Guji zones recently, also stressed that “urgent funding is required to continue to provide life-saving assistance.”
According to IOM, many of the displaced people are staying with local communities, while others are sheltering at collective sites mainly schools, government properties and disused or unfinished buildings, while those staying in the local community also demand humanitarian assistance.
“The collective sites are overcrowded with thousands of people sheltering in buildings not fit for habitation and thousands more are sleeping outside on the muddy ground with only a sheet of tarpaulin to protect them from the cold and wet weather,” the statement read.
“Both situations raise major concerns from protection and health perspectives,” it added.
On Monday, eight international aid agencies revealed in a joint statement that at least one million people, the majority of whom being women and children, are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance following the recent inter-communal conflict in the two regions.
“They are in need of food, shelter, water and psycho-social support. Aid agencies warn that without a scale up of assistance, the situation of the IDPs is likely to further deteriorate,” the joint statement indicated.
The UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund on July 3, released 15 million U.S. dollars to urgently scale up humanitarian assistance to people affected by escalating inter-communal violence in Ethiopia.