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Friday, April 22, 2005

Humanitarian conditions to get worse in Ethiopia - UNICEF

Humanitarian conditions in Ethiopia are set to get worse now that a scheme to end aid dependency has been delayed, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) warned on Thursday.

According to UNICEF, malnutrition was increasing due to "difficulties" with the Productive Safety Net Programme (PSNP), and funding shortfalls were holding up measles and polio vaccination campaigns.

A lack of support from the international community in areas like health, water and nutrition was also hampering the humanitarian response, it added.

Thursday's warning came as the Ethiopian government prepared to make a new appeal for support on 2 May, to help the growing numbers needing food aid and emergency assistance. It expected to announce an increase in the number of people needing aid this year – which currently stands at around seven million.

In December, the UN and the Ethiopian government appealed for US $112 million for health, nutrition, water and sanitation, but have so far received less than a quarter of that. Some $159 million was also requested to help feed 2.2 million people facing hunger.

Reuters AlertNet

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