News article

New UK support to Ethiopia for flooding crisis

UK supports the flood response in Ethiopia by providing emergency shelter for more than 150,000 people.

The UK supports the flood response in Ethiopia with the arrival of the first of nine charter flights carrying emergency shelter for more than 150,000 people.

Extensive rains have come at a time when Ethiopia has been experiencing its worst drought in 30 years, which has already left more than 10 million people in urgent need of relief. The life-threatening flooding, which has destroyed homes, displaced thousands and increased the risk of disease, has already seen more than 200,000 people having to leave their homes.

Emergency humanitarian supplies – including shelter kits, blankets, kitchen sets, clean water devices and other equipment – are being flown into Ethiopia by DFID, the UK’s aid organisation, to help 150,000 people in immediate need cope with the aftermath of the flooding.

The UK is already the second largest bilateral humanitarian donor in Ethiopia, and the announcement of 110 million Birr in new support is providing essential supplies of shelter kits for those in need of immediate help.

This extra 110 million Birr includes:

  • 60,000 x High Thermal Synthetic Blankets

  • 34,000 x Shelter Kits

  • 30,000 x Kitchen Sets

  • 30,000 x Sleeping Mats

  • 30,000 x 14 Litre Buckets

  • 1,500 x Cleanliness Kits

  • 1,980 x Lifesaver Cube (water purification device)

The first of nine planes arrived in Addis Ababa today (23 May), carrying 7,650 shelter kits, which will provide shelter to more than 35,000 people. The plane was greeted on arrival by the UK Ambassador, Susanna Moorehead, and the Director, Early Warning and Response Directorate, NDRMC, Ato Muluneh Woledemariam.

UK Ambassador Susanna Moorehead said:

Despite impressive developments in Ethiopia, people are now faced with severe flooding after the country’s worst drought in thirty years.

The Government of Ethiopia has done a commendable job in leading the humanitarian response to the drought, and now the floods. The UK is doing all it can to help countries prepare for and cope with the devastating effects of El Niño that have seen millions going without food and hundreds of thousands losing their homes.

Early Warning and Response Directorate, NDRMC, Ato Muluneh Woledemariam said:

This new support brings our total funding to the current humanitarian response in Ethiopia to 4.5 billion Birr. This new funding from Britain will ensure the most vulnerable families get the emergency shelter, clean water and cooking equipment that they so desperately need to survive.

Background information

The El Niño effect this year has been the strongest on record, threatening people’s lives, health and livelihoods around the world. The Government of Ethiopia is in the midst of its largest ever response to a drought, but the scale of the crisis means a global response is needed.

Ethiopia has made rapid progress on development over the last decade. With UK support, the Government’s investments have meant that Ethiopia can cope with the current humanitarian crisis much better that would otherwise have been the case.

Britain’s longer-term support for Ethiopia has already helped millions of families to build their resilience to extreme weather events, as well as supporting basic services for the poorest; promoting job creation to drive economic development, particularly for women; tackling female genital mutilation and childhood marriage and boosting people’s nutrition.

The UK’s ongoing work in Ethiopia is making a real difference;

  • Putting 2.5 million children through primary school

  • Helping nearly 3 million pregnant women and children get the right nutrition, and

  • Providing 300,000 people with access to clean drinking water

Notes to Editors:

  1. Extensive flooding across Ethiopia from the current spring rains has resulted in the displacement of nearly 120,000 people in the last month. Around 500,000 people have already been affected to some degree, and 200,000 of those displaced from their homes. Somali, Oromia, SNNPR, Afar, Amhara, and Harar Regions have been particularly affected.

  2. A gap of 30,000 shelter kits for affected families was initially identified by the International Organisation for Migration as an immediate priority. The UK was best placed to immediately respond to this request, through its prepositioned supplies.

  3. Ongoing drought has left 10.2 million Ethiopians in urgent need of relief. Crop failure and the death of livestock have led to widespread food shortages. Many children face the risk of malnutrition and a lack of clean water is increasing the threat of disease.

  4. The UN and Government of Ethiopia launched an appeal for an additional $1.4 billion (£923 million) in December 2015, which is only 66% funded.

For further information contact:

Louisa Medhurst
Humanitarian Adviser,DFID Ethiopia
Mobile: +251 (0) 911 203 080

James St John Cox
Humanitarian Affairs Officer, DFID Ethiopia
Mobile: +251 (0) 967 528 138