By Dipo Olowookere
The Swedish government has provided $3 million to UNICEF Ethiopia’s 2018 Humanitarian Action for Children.
The funds will be used to meet the needs of internally displaced populations in the Oromia and Somali regions of Ethiopia.
“We are grateful to the Government of Sweden for this contribution, which confirms Sweden’s continued commitment to supporting populations affected by humanitarian emergencies,” said UNICEF Representative Gillian Mellsop. “This is the first such significant contribution to our funding appeal in 2018. It will enable us to alleviate the hardships currently faced by populations living in IDP sites where access to basic services remains low and where conditions, especially for children, are simply unbearable.”
Current estimates place the number of persons internally displaced by climatic and conflict factors at around 1.7 million. The displaced are settled in 916 sites across the country.
The contribution from Sweden will enable UNICEF to provide critical and much-needed water and sanitation, nutrition, and health services to displaced populations in the two regions. Other services will include education and child protection.
Specifically, Sweden’s support will go towards trucking of water to IDP sites and construction or expansion of water supply systems; diarrhoea treatment, vaccination of children against measles, and distribution of mosquito nets; and treatment of children with acute malnutrition and provision of high protein biscuits to prevent malnutrition in children and pregnant and lactating women.
The assistance will also make provision of emergency education, including early childhood development; and reunification of separated and unaccompanied children with their families and preventing and mitigating risks faced by children, especially girls.
While the government continues to prioritize the return and resettlement of the IDPs, thousands of displaced people are still in need of urgent life-saving assistance. UNICEF’s $112 million humanitarian appeal for children targets 3.1 million people with support, out of which 1.5 million are children.
Presently, the appeal has a shortfall of $86 million, with nutrition, health, and education having the most significant gaps.
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