The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) said that a funding shortfall is hampering its humanitarian response in Ethiopia.
"WFP is facing a funding shortfall of $219 million until the end of the year. In effect, WFP has reprioritized 50 percent of the targeted beneficiaries under its nutrition activity," the WFP said in its latest Ethiopia humanitarian situation report issued late Thursday.
Ethiopia has faced conflict, displacement, and drought over the past few years, worsening food insecurity in the country.
WFP figures show that 15.1 million people were in need of emergency food assistance for the third quarter of 2023, of which 11 million people, including food-insecure, internally displaced people and returnees, are prioritized to be assisted by the WFP and other partners in their areas of operations.
The WFP's humanitarian response plan in 2023 targets the most vulnerable, including those facing protection concerns due to violence and conflict and victims of extreme drought.
It said the peace agreement that ended the conflict in northern Ethiopia has improved peace in Afar and Tigray regions. However, in the Amhara region, armed conflict is affecting WFP operations in nine zones.
Last week, the WFP announced the resumption of food distributions to nearly 900,000 refugees in Ethiopia after a hiatus due to food aid diversion since June this year. It said the resumption of food aid to refugees in Ethiopia follows a full revamp of the safeguards and controls in its refugee operations.