Thank you, Under-Secretary-General Martin Griffiths, for this informative briefing, and we echo your call for action to avert the consequences of the drought in the Horn of Africa.
The UAE attaches great importance to the security and stability of the Horn of Africa and the well-being of its people. We are very concerned by the impacts of climate change in the region, which we have seen sharply increase in recent years and intensify the humanitarian situation.
As COP28 president and a Security Council member, we appreciate OCHA’s analysis and reporting on the drought. It is important to pursue innovation around anticipatory action, as well as adaptation finance for food and water projects to prevent future humanitarian needs. However, we also recognize that immediate humanitarian relief is required.
Today, I am honored to announce the UAE’s commitment of 85 million US Dollars for humanitarian operations in Ethiopia in collaboration with the Famine Relief Fund. Through the Famine Relief Fund, the amount will be disbursed to a number of agencies who are working on the ground, including WFP, ICRC, UNICEF, UNCHR, and others.
This contribution builds on our previous humanitarian support in the region, including last month’s airlift of 35 metric tons of food to Tigray, Ethiopia, and the 5 million US Dollars contribution to WFP to support Ethiopian refugees. In addition, Emirates Red Crescent, and Khalifa Foundation provided a number of air bridge flights and a relief ship with urgent humanitarian aid to people affected by the drought in Somalia to mitigate its repercussions.
To conclude, humanitarian response and prevention is at the heart of the UAE’s foreign aid and assistance, where since 2010, the UAE’s assistance to the Horn of Africa amounted to 2.1 billion US Dollars. The UAE is committed to providing humanitarian assistance in cooperation with international partners, as well as prevention work in the climate-humanitarian nexus.
Thank you again to OCHA for convening us today.