As more than 13.6 million people across Ethiopia are estimated to be food insecure, the World Food Program would need $426 million emergency funding over the next six months to feed millions of people in the country.
The intervention by WFP would also include 5.2 million people in Tigray, a region that has been in conflict for the past ten-months.
According to Michael Dunford, WFP’s regional director for Eastern Africa, said in a statement. “If we don’t get additional funding right away we will be forced to cut rations or, even worse, halt distributions to some 4 million people we’re trying to reach in Afar, Amhara and Tigray in the coming months.”
Dunford added that, “Time is running out for millions across Northern Ethiopia,”.
Food crisis has been fueled by a conflict between federal forces and troops from the northern Tigray region that erupted in November and has spread into the neighboring Afar and Amhara regions.
Tens of thousands of farmers have fled their land, missing the agricultural planting season in many parts of Tigray.
It was noted that failure to address the hunger crisis could risk broader civil unrest. The violence has scarred the nation’s reputation as one of Africa’s top investment destinations and sent its Eurobonds plummeting.
Effects of the conflict have been compounded by drought, flooding, desert-locust invasions, market disruptions, high food prices, and the Covid-19 pandemic, United Nation agency said.