The United Nations on Monday released a total of $40m emergency funds for Ethiopia.
UN aid chief Martin Griffiths said the aid is aimed at scaling up emergency operations in the Tigray region and the rest of Ethiopia’s conflict-hit north, and as an early response to drought in the south of the country.
“Millions of people in northern Ethiopia are living on a knife-edge as the humanitarian crisis is growing deeper and wider,” Griffiths said in a statement.
“Across the country, needs are rising,” she added.
A year of fighting in Ethiopia between rebels from the northern region of Tigray and government forces has cost thousands of lives, displaced more than two million people and left hundreds of thousands in famine-like conditions.
Griffiths said $25m of the fresh cash injection was coming from the UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund, while another $15m was coming from the country-based Ethiopia Humanitarian Fund.
The additional cash will help relief agencies in drought-hit southern Somali and Oromia regions to provide drinking water, including to prevent waterborne diseases like cholera, and to support preserving livestock.
Despite the new injection of funds, the UN said humanitarian operations throughout Ethiopia were still facing a $1.3bn funding gap this year, including $350m still needed to respond to the crisis in Tigray alone.