£19 million of UK funding to Ethiopia as part of global leadership in fight against Covid-19

COVID-19 Response

08 April 2020

The UK has just allocated £12m (more than 450m ETB) to UNICEF to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in Ethiopia.

Another £7 million (more than 270m ETB) has been agreed with UN OCHA to coordinate the response to the virus and respond to other humanitarian needs in the country.

The UK is leading, with partners, in efforts to stop the global spread of Covid-19 and has acted quickly. This allocation of funding is in line with Prime Minister Abiy’s call for global support to Africa as it faces this virus.

Earlier this week, the UK became the largest financial contributor to the international coalition to find a vaccine for the virus. The UK has committed £150m to the International Monetary Fund’s Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust to help developing countries deal with the economic disruption caused by Covid-19.

This allocation of £19 million of funding in Ethiopia includes supporting work within refugee camps and settlements. Funding to partners working in these areas is vital, as social distancing and isolation may not be possible because of crowded conditions, and water and sanitation services are already stretched. UK support to partners will help people protect themselves and their families.

The UK has been a long-standing partner of Government of Ethiopia working to strengthen health systems. Senior Health Advisors from the UK are now working with the Ethiopian Public Health Institute and the Ministry of Health to support their response to Covid-19. The advisors are also supporting the ongoing delivery of essential basic health services.

Ethiopia is home to some of the most vulnerable people in the world. 7 million people are targeted for humanitarian assistance in 2020, even before the Covid-19 outbreak.

The UK recognises that the fight against Covid-19 goes beyond a public health response. The UK is helping children in Ethiopia to continue their education while schools are closed as a result of Covid-19. The UK is also supporting schools to put in place Covid-19 prevention measures for when they re-open.

Notes for editors

  • The UK Government supports humanitarian response in Ethiopia through the ‘Building Resilience in Ethiopia’ and ‘Refugee and Migration’ programmes. These are long term programmes that enable rapid response to emergencies in Ethiopia, such as Covid-19.
  • The UK Government has an ongoing health programme called ‘Sustaining and Accelerating Primary Health in Ethiopia’ (SAPHE). This programme strengthens the health system in Ethiopia. Through this programme the UK has been able to quickly support the Ethiopia Public Health Institute (EPHI) and the Ministry of Health in their response to Covid-19.
  • The UK Government provides ongoing support to the government-led and donor-funded education programme; ‘General Education Quality Improvement Programme for Equity (GEQIP-E).  This package of reforms improves the quality, equity and efficiency of Ethiopia’s education system. Through this programme, the Ministry of Education and donors are working closely together to coordinate a response to Covid-19, which will prioritise the safety of learners while providing opportunities for remote learning for all. 
  • Public Health England is providing technical support through its ‘International Health Regulations (IHR) Strengthening Programme in Ethiopia’. Two Senior Health Advisors are working alongside and supporting in-country partners EPHI and Africa CDC colleagues in the response to Covid-19.


Media contacts

Victor Chinyama
Chief of Communication, Advocacy and Partnerships
UNICEF Ethiopia
Wossen Mulatu
Communication Officer
UNICEF Ethiopia
Tel: +251 115 184028


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