Drought caused by El Niño

Silberhorn pledges 10 million euros for UNICEF's work to help the hungry in Ethiopia

Parliamentary State Secretary Thomas Silberhorn making a speech at a warehouse run by UNICEF in Addis Abeba, Ethiopia.

Press release of 22.04.2016 |

Addis Abeba – Parliamentary State Secretary Thomas Silberhorn was in Ethiopia to get a picture of the extent of the food crisis and of the relief measures being implemented there. The current drought, caused by the weather event known as El Niño, has gone on for several months now and is the worst the country has seen in the last fifty years.

It is having a dramatic impact: already, eighteen million people are suffering from hunger and are in urgent need of support. That is why Silberhorn pledged to provide the children's fund UNICEF with ten million euros in funding. The money will be used to provide acutely undernourished children with special food. For example, two million euros will buy around 40,000 boxes of special food that can help some 45,000 children survive.

In total, the BMZ has already made available 90 million euros to help tackle the food crisis in the Horn of Africa. The German government is using these funds to support measures to boost food security, health care and water supply and sanitation. It is also helping farmers to procure seeds and animal feed.

Parliamentary State Secretary Silberhorn noted, "So far, no one has died of starvation in Ethiopia because it has been possible to reach the people affected quickly. This success can be put down to the considerable efforts being undertaken by the Ethiopian government, and to the early support provided by Germany and the international community."

The frequency and intensity of extreme weather events will continue to increase. As a consequence, short-term relief measures will have to be accompanied by preventative measures that address structural causes in the agricultural and health sectors. That is why the BMZ is providing Ethiopia with advice on sustainable agriculture. With the help of this advice, the country will be able to improve the food situation in the long term and increase its resilience to droughts.
Silberhorn announced that vocational education and training would receive greater support as a priority area of development cooperation. With a commitment of more than 13 million euros, there would be enough funds in future to include health sector staff in the planned education and training programme.

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