Share article:
Share article:

EU and UN support Ethiopia in fight against El-Niño effect

El-Niño is again causing irregular weather patterns around the world. Ethiopia is one of the most affected countries in Africa. The worst drought in decades is threating an estimated population of more than 10 million. Vice President of the European Commission Kristalina Georgieva announced recently (31.1) that the EU has pledged €170 million to support Ethiopia in the fight against the El-Niño effect.

During a high-level humanitarian round table discussion with Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen and other international donors, she said the “Ethiopian government has done a great effort committing $380 million.”

“The EU itself has committed €170 million in joint humanitarian and development funding; only through a comprehensive action can we tackle a multidimensional, recurrent crisis, but we are not there yet,” Commissioner Georgieva added. “We must all strengthen our commitment. The EU will continue exploring how to strengthen its response. We hope that others will do so.”

This announcement was made the same day UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon met with Ethiopian high officials and visited the drought-affected areas of the country. During his visit, the Secretary General urged international donors to step up assistance to the country.

The UN chief underlined that “the Government of Ethiopia has shown remarkable leadership in this drought response. It has made the greatest financial contribution”. The U.N. has issued an international appeal for $ 1.4 billion in emergency funding for Ethiopia, of which less than half has been met by donors.

Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen urged the international community to give immediate assistance; otherwise this drought may have a negative impact on the development of the country and the peace and stability of the region at large.

According to the National Drought Resilience and Emergency Commissioner Ato Mituku Kassa, the government of Ethiopia has allocated additional funding to prevent children school drop-out due to the drought through increasing school feeding. Government assistance to the drought-affected populations gives priority to children as well as pregnant women and breast-feeding mothers.

El Niñois a natural climatic phenomenon that causes equatorial waters in the eastern Pacific Ocean warm every few years. This disrupts regular weather patterns such as monsoons and trade winds, and increases the risk of food shortages, droughts, floods, diseases and forest fires.

The UN’s World Meteorological Organization warned already last November that the current El Niño is the strongest in more than 15 years and will cause severe droughts and devastating flooding throughout the tropics and sub-tropical zones of the planet. According to its secretary-general Michel Jarraud, the impact of the naturally occurring El Niño is being exacerbated by global warming.

The Brussels Times

Latest news

Several rush hour train services to be scrapped from Monday
Up to ten peak time trains to and from Brussels will be temporarily cancelled starting from Monday, Belgian railway company SNCB announced this ...
Europe’s largest vintage clothes store is in Ghent this weekend
Europe's largest pop-up store for second-hand clothes is once again setting up shop in Ghent on Sunday, offering more than five tonnes of vintage ...
Animal welfare in EU’s pig meat sector: What’s wrong?
EU has put into place legislation to ensure that animal welfare conditions are respected in its agricultural policy but the breaches of its ...
‘Not feasible’: Doctors refuse to follow new testing strategy
Doctors have warned they will not follow the government's adapted testing strategy which would see vaccinated people who were in close contact with a ...
Flanders introduces ‘invisible’ speed cameras
New digital speed cameras that are essentially invisible to the road user are being introduced on various roads and motorways in Flanders, Flemish ...
Warnings issued for slippery roads across Belgium
Drivers have been asked to watch out for slippery roads from Saturday afternoon until Sunday evening, as snow and cold temperatures are expected ...
Testing rules following high-risk contact eased for vaccinated people
The coronavirus testing policy following a high-risk contact has been eased, meaning a vaccinated person who was in contact with an infected person ...
New measures announced for Belgian schools
Stricter rules are being implemented across a variety of sectors in Belgium to curb the rising number of infections and limit the damage as a result ...
Majority of booster doses should be administered by March 2022
Invitations will be sent out in the following days for the general population in Belgium to receive a coronavirus booster vaccine, and most adults ...
Belgium adopts national plan to combat gender-based violence
Belgium has adopted a National Action plan for the Fight against Gender-Based Violence, which includes more than 200 measures and unites all levels ...
Antwerp cancels Christmas market and New Year’s Eve fireworks
The city of Antwerp has joined other cities including Leuven and Ghent by announcing it is cancelling this year's Christmas market, the end-of-year ...
Pharmaceutical companies looking into vaccines against new variant
Pharmaceutical companies have sprung into action to look into vaccine protection against the new coronavirus variant first detected in South Africa, ...