Britain pledges £100 mn aid for war-hit EthiopiaMon, 05 Feb 2024 15:40:34 GMT

Britain on Monday announced £100 million ($125 million) of new aid for millions of vulnerable people in Ethiopia, saying war, drought and crop failure had created a “growing risk of humanitarian catastrophe”.Authorities in the war-ravaged northern Tigray region have warned it is on the brink of famine. The conflict between federal government forces and Tigrayan rebels erupted in November 2020, killing up to half a million people and displacing around one million.The war ended with a peace deal in November 2022 but clashes have since erupted in other parts of the country, notably in the Amhara region, whose forces supported federal troops during the war.In December, the UN’s humanitarian response agency OCHA, warned that “the drought situation is worsening in some parts of northern, southern, and southeastern Ethiopia and is expected to deteriorate further unless aid is urgently scaled up.”London on Monday said “more than three million Ethiopians, including mothers and babies, will receive lifesaving help from the UK through a new humanitarian aid programme and further support for the Tigray region”.Minister for Development and Africa Andrew Mitchell meanwhile wrapped up a two-day visit to Ethiopia urging more international aid.”The crisis is a wake-up call to the world,” said Mitchell. “Food shortages are at a critical level. War has displaced people and decimated vital infrastructure. Climate change and El Nino have fuelled local exoduses.””The international community needs to come to Ethiopia’s side.”The £100 million fund will provide essential health services for children, particularly those aged under five, and pregnant and post-natal women.