US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Wednesday announced nearly $533 million in humanitarian assistance for food-insecure people in Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan, and Nigeria, as well as countries in the Lake Chad region.
According to a statement issued by the US Department of State, the new funding will be used to provide emergency food and nutrition assistance, including tens of thousands of tonnes of in-kind food aid, as well as to support safe drinking water, emergency health care, and hygiene programmes.
The announcement came few hours ahead of Tillerson's arrival in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, where he is expected to discuss with Ethiopian authorities bilateral and regional issues, including the ongoing protests in towns of the Oromia states in the country.
US assistance also includes life-saving medical supplies, improved sanitation, and emergency shelter, and prioritizes programmes that protect vulnerable groups.
Of the newly-announced funds, more than $110 million is for Ethiopia, nearly $184 million is for South Sudan, more than $110 million for Somalia, and more than $128 million for Nigeria and countries in the Lake Chad region.
The Ethiopian Disaster and Risk Management Commission last year announced that there are over eight million Ethiopians in need food aid due to the El-Nino-induced drought, which occurred in 2015 and 2016 in Somalia and the Oromia states in the country.