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Ethiopia: UN-backed humanitarian appeal launched, seeking $948 million in 2017

Ethiopia: UN-backed humanitarian appeal launched, seeking $948 million in 2017

India Blooms News Service | | 17 Jan 2017, 11:13 pm
New York, Jan 17 (Just Earth News): On the heels of failed rains and a calamitous El Niño in Ethiopia, the country's Government on Monday launched an appeal for $948 million to urgently address food and non-food needs, while the United Nations agriculture agency warned that a new drought may put the East African nation's hard fought gains at risk.


The humanitarian response plan, launched by the Ethiopian Government and humanitarian partners, aims to help 5.6 million people mainly in the southern and eastern parts of the country, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

“Last year the Government of Ethiopia, with the support of international donors and humanitarian partners, was able to mount the biggest drought response operation in global history. On Monday we need that partnership once again as we face a new drought, with 5.6 million in need of urgent assistance,” said Commissioner Mitiku Kassa, Head of the National Disaster Risk Management Commission.

“Humanitarian partners stand ready to support the Government in addressing the needs of those Ethiopians affected by this new drought,” said the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Ahunna Eziakonwa-Onochie.

Failed rains in southern and eastern parts of the country were caused by the negative Indian Ocean Dipole. The plan prioritizes humanitarian assistance in water and sanitation, agriculture, relief food, nutrition, health, education, protection, and shelter and non-food items in the affected areas. Of the total, $598 million is targeted for relief food, $105 million for nutrition, and $86 million for water and sanitation needs.

New drought risks in Ethiopia put recovery at risk

Meanwhile, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warned that a new drought across swathes of southern Ethiopia may jeopardize the East African nation's restoration of food security after the worst agricultural seasons in decades, unless urgent efforts are made to shore up vulnerable households in rural areas.

The agency said that while an impressive Government-led humanitarian effort has sharply reduced the number of hungry during the worst drought in 50 years, the legacy of last year's El Niño along with low rainfall during a critical season pose renewed risks now, especially for pastoral communities facing forage shortfalls and water scarcity in southern regions.

After having reached 1.3 million farmers and herders affected by the El Niño-induced drought in 2016, FAO is appealing for $20 million to reach one million farming, agropastoral and pastoral households in 2017, with the aim of protecting gains made last year and preventing vulnerable households from slipping further into food insecurity.

FAO's programme seeks in particular to support crop production, implement emergency response and resilience activities in the livestock sector, support livelihoods in refugee-hosting areas and strengthen coordination, information and analysis.

Photo: FAO/Tamiru Legesse

Source: www.justearthnews.com

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Erdogan's Turkey turns Hagia Sophia into a mosque again; UNESCO regrets #HagiaSophia, #Turkey, #Istanbul, #HagiaSophiaMosqueAgain Istanbul/IBNS: Hagia Sophia, Turkey's iconic monument, a UNESCO World Heritage and one of the central attractions of its capital Istanbul, is no longer a museum. It has been turned back as a mosque though some 1500 years ago it was built as an Orthodox Christian cathedral. Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque during the Ottoman time in 1453 while under Ataturk it was turned into a museum in 1935. The decision comes amid a growing rise of the Islamists in Turkey who had been demanding that it be restored as a mosque though Opposition leaders with secular credentials had been against the move. A top court in Turkey ruled that turning it into a museum in 1935 by modern Turkey's secular architect Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was illegal, paving the way for present Turkey president Recep Tayyip Erdogan to declare it as a mosque again and to open it for Muslim prayers. Erdogan made the announcement an hour after the court ruled the conversion to museum in 1935 as illegal and scrapped its status. "May it be beneficial," posted Erdogan on Twitter, sharing an official document on the change with his signature. UNESCO regrets In an immediate reaction, UNESCO said it "deeply regrets" the decision. UNESCO said it was "regrettable that the Turkish decision was not the subject of dialog nor notification beforehand". "UNESCO calls on the Turkish authorities to open a dialog without delay in order to avoid a step back from the universal value of this exceptional heritage whose preservation will be reviewed by the World Heritage Committee in its next session," the United Nation's cultural body said in a statement. Istanbul icon of beauty and wonderment According to Turkey's official tourism website, Hagia Sophia is a remarkable achievement in the history of architecture. and a living proof of mankind's revolt against the laws of physics and it calls it a monument whose importance transcends borders. It is one of UNESCO's World Cultural Heritage sites attracting millions of visitors across the world with its majestic grandeur

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Erdogan's Turkey turns Hagia Sophia into a mosque again 11 Jul 2020, 01:37 pm