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Worst floods in decades cause displacement of 217,000 Ethiopians

ADDIS ABABA, Sept. 14 (Xinhua) — Around 217,000 Ethiopians have been displaced by the worst floods in several decades, an Ethiopian minister said on Monday.

Speaking to Xinhua, Muferiat Kamil, Ethiopia Minister of Peace, said various parts of Ethiopia in recent weeks have experienced floods caused by rainfall levels that haven’t been seen for more than 30 years.

Kamil said the floods which in some areas have been the most damaging in more than a century have displaced 217,000 people and affected another 363,000 people.

“These floods have affected hundreds of thousands of people living in 23 zones of five regional states, causing immense damage to private and public properties,” said Kamil.

The five Ethiopian regional states affected by recent floods are Gambella, Southern, Afar, Oromia and Amhara.

“We were for the most part able to prevent severe damages that could have been caused by the floods. However, in some other areas the damage was greater than anticipated,” Muferiat told Xinhua.

On Monday, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), said some 15.1 million Ethiopians affected by various disasters including floods, COVID-19 disease, desert locust invasion and man-made disasters are in need of food and non-food assistance.

UNOCHA said a total of 1.44 billion U.S. dollars is needed to meet the humanitarian needs of 15.1 million Ethiopians.

However, UNOCHA said it is struggling with lack of funds to meet the humanitarian needs of millions of Ethiopians.

“Some 15.1 million people are targeted with emergency food and non-food assistance with funding requirements of 1.44 billion U.S. dollars,”.

“However, the 2020 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) is at its lowest funding level in at least a decade, with currently a gap of 929.6 million U.S. dollars,” said the UNOCHA report.

UNOCHA is currently mobilizing partners for a collective fundraising drive in the next weeks and months to close the funding gap and address all identified life-saving needs. Enditem

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