Japan Grant to Help Ethiopia's Children Face Food Crisis

The Japanese government announced April 15 it will provide $6 million to UNICEF in Ethiopia. The donation, part of a larger $13 million grant, was highly needed in a country where children remain particularly vulnerable to the impact of food crisis, although child mortality has decreased in the past few years.

"The global economic crisis needs to be confronted to maintain the child survival gains achieved in Ethiopia over the past decade," UNICEF Representative to Ethiopia Ted Chaiban said in a statement.

"This support from the government of Japan will help the country address the risks and ensure that it consolidates and sustains its achievements on behalf of Ethiopia's children," he added.

The development comes at a time when children's charities and other aid organizations are fearing major limitations to their work in the Eastern African country due to a new law enacted there early this year.

Aimed at ensuring transparency and fighting corruption by local and international organizations and foreign donors in the country, the Proclamation for the Registration and Regulation of Charities and Societies restricted action of foreign NGOs to "politically non-sensitive" matters and limited the amount of foreign funding to local organizations. Its implementation may therefore affect the work of NGOs and charities tackling issues such as children's rights, poverty and hunger.

In an interview with Devex after the legislation was passed, a U.S. Agency for International Development senior official said although the organization had always enjoyed a good relationship with Ethiopian authorities, the U.S. government is concerned that the new rules would negatively impact the work of international aid groups in the country.

About the author

  • Tiziana Cauli

    Tiziana has contributed to Devex News since mid-2008, focusing mainly on Africa as well as the European donor landscape, especially those in Brussels, Rome and Barcelona. Tiziana has worked as a journalist for Reuters and the Associated Press in Johannesburg and at Reuters in Milan and Paris. She is fluent in Italian, English, French and Spanish.