© UNICEF/NYHQ2009-2272/Holt

Asiya Abdu, pregnant with her fifth child, stands in the home she shares with 20 family members, in Undada Village. Poverty, inadequate basic services and recurrent droughts and floods continue to threaten the welfare of children and women.

Children and women in crisis

Emergency conditions are all too familiar to many families in Ethiopia. In 2010, flooding affected nearly 1 million people across several regions.1 Periodic shocks such as droughts and heavy rains can add immediate crisis to chronic difficulties linked to high poverty levels, dependence on rain-fed agriculture, low availability of safe drinking water, poor hygiene and sanitation, and inadequate disease surveillance. As a result, children and women, especially pregnant women and children with poor nutritional status, are at higher risk of death and disease.

Meeting urgent needs and building resilience in 2011

In 2011, UNICEF will work with the Government of Ethiopia, other UN agencies, NGOs and communities to respond to the needs of more than 7 million people, including 6 million children who live in areas vulnerable to natural disasters and political tensions – including the Afar, Amhara, Gambella, Oromiya, Somali, Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples (SNNP) and Tigray regions. UNICEF continues to lead the WASH and nutrition clusters, the child protection sub-cluster and co-leads the education cluster. In addition, since February 2004, UNICEF has supported the Government’s emergency nutrition coordination unit.

Humanitarian funding at work: Highlights from 2010

According to the mid-2010 review, an estimated US$68,660,000 was needed for UNICEF’s humanitarian activities in Ethiopia. As of October 2010, a total of US$22,973,851, or 33 per cent of the revised request, had been received. An additional US$21,326,000 carried forward from 2009 was also programmed. One key achievement of 2010 was a 44 per cent increase over 2009 in the number of local health posts able to treat children with severe acute malnutrition on an outpatient basis. More than 760,000 people affected by floods used clean water made possible by household treatment chemicals and safe water receptacles or by providing water through delivery in tankers, and 67,000 children continued with their education in temporary learning spaces.

Funding requirements for 2011

UNICEF is requesting US$57,416,000 for Ethiopia. This is almost US$11 million less than the 2010 request due to the improved harvest season of 2010 and integration of the emergency nutrition strategy (Enhanced Outreach Strategy) in non-food-insecure areas into regular nutrition programming. However, the precarious welfare of women and children in the chronically food-insecure regions of Ethiopia means that full funding is crucial.

More information on achievements of 2010 and the humanitarian action planned for Ethiopia in 2011 can be found at www.unicef.org/hac2011 or the country office website, www.unicef.org/ethiopia.

1 Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Disaster Risk Management and Food Security Sector, ‘Flood Response Plan’, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa, September 2010, p. 4.


UNICEF Emergency Needs for 2011 (in US dollars) Total $57,416,000