The United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) has provided over $672 million in drought response this year and remains devoted to the health, welfare, and prosperous future of the people of Ethiopia.
Ambassador Tracey Ann Jacobson, Chargé d’Affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa, USAID Deputy Assistant Administrator (DAA) for Africa, Tyler Beckelman, and USAID/Ethiopia Mission Director Sean Jones visited Jigjiga and Kebre Biyeh in Somali region are in a mission to assess the drought and humanitarian situation in the Somali region of Ethiopia.
The delegation met with Somali Regional President H.E. Mustafe Omer as well as with humanitarian and development organizations and with people of the region.
During the meeting with regional President H.E. Mustafe Omer, the delegation discussed USAID’s ongoing response to the catastrophic drought, including life-saving food and other assistance. They also discussed USAID’s historical support in Somali region, the urgent needs facing the drought-stricken region now, and the continued U.S. support and collaboration towards peace and stability. Ambassador Jacobson and the USAID team also noted the region’s commitment to climate adaptation and development.
The delegation visited humanitarian and development programs responding to the drought to see the effects of American aid firsthand. They began with a stop at the Kebri Beyah Hart-Sheikh Health Center, which provides emergency stabilization and treatment for children suffering from severe and moderate acute malnutrition and receives funding and life-saving medicines from USAID.
The delegation spoke with a livestock trader, who has received USAID support to encourage the sale of livestock (“destocking”) during the drought, thus reducing pressure on the parched grazing lands and providing much needed cash to households.
The delegation also met with Ethiopian pastoralists, who receive American-funded vouchers for livestock feed and veterinary care. These valuable vouchers are allowing residents of Somali region to maintain the milk production of their herds.
The team also visited a USAID-funded World Food Programme (WFP) warehouse to observe the life-saving food and nutrition assistance provided to households experiencing the impacts of the historic drought. With USAID’s funding, WFP is reaching 2.4 million people for emergency food assistance in 89 districts in Somali alone.