The United Arab Emirates Mission to the United Nations in New York, in collaboration with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), has hosted a briefing to engage Members States in evaluating the humanitarian situation and possible responses in the Horn of Africa. The meeting featured briefings by the UN’s humanitarian heads in Ethiopia, Somalia, and South Sudan.
Humanitarian response and prevention is at the heart of the UAE’s foreign aid and assistance.
The UAE is deeply concerned by the different situations in the Horn of Africa, from war to climate change, and is partnering with OCHA to illuminate the options for the UN community and donors to empower these countries and their people to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
The humanitarian situations in the three countries continue to cripple their development progress. Drought has pushed Somalia to the brink of famine, as well as threatened lives in many parts of Ethiopia, despite strong government leadership in the 2016 and 2017 drought response. Conflict in South Sudan, worsened by climate change, has caused over 2.3 million people to flee their homes and 1 million people at risk of famine in 2018.
The meeting looked at both funding needs – which are especially acute in South Sudan – as well as innovative options to prevent and mitigate crises.
These include techniques like forecast-based financing, which mandates donors to release money for humanitarian action before harsh weather strikes, and the tailoring of programs for specific demographics.
The UAE has provided over $250 million of aid to the three countries and their citizens since 2013, most recently to support Uganda as the host of hundreds of thousands of South Sudanese refugees.