Israeli Ambassador Mr. Oded Ben-Haim initiated this donation with the view to protecting children at risk against malnutrition,

 Israel donates 165MT relief food to Ethiopian children in drought


Photo: MFA

(Communicated by the Israel Embassy, Addis Ababa)

At the handing over ceremony held at the Ethiopian Agriculture Ministry DRMSS headquarters in Addis Ababa on Monday, October 11, 2011, H.E. Ambassador Oded Ben-Haim said that he is "happy and proud to present the donation directly to the children in need through the Disaster Risk Management and Food Security Sector of the Ethiopian Agriculture Ministry." The Ambassador added, "This is a new and nice way of promoting the ongoing cooperation and friendship Israel had long maintained with the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the Ethiopian Ministry of Agriculture. As well, it will promote the affinity between the peoples of Israel and Ethiopia which dates back thousands of years."

The donated emergency food item specially made for children known as Corn Soya Chickpeas Blend (CSB Plus) constitutes heat treated maize, soya beans, chickpeas, vitamins, and minerals. The product has been purchased from the FAFFA FOODS Company which is a certified manufacturer of CSB Plus emergency food according to the World Food Program (WFP) specifications. The food item is produced from fresh maize grain, soy beans, and chickpeas of high quality, free from foreign materials, substances hazardous to health, insect damage or fungal contamination; the production is conducted in compliance with relevant national food laws and standards.

On behalf of the Ethiopian Disaster Risk Management and Food Security Sector, H.E. Ato Matiwos Hunde forwarded the following vote of thanks to the Israeli government for the donation of 165 metric tons of blended food:

"Ethiopia is one of the countries affected by this year’s La Nina-triggered drought in Horn of Africa that led to deteriorated food security conditions in the affected areas. As a result, according to the July 2011 joint government and humanitarian partners’ Humanitarian Requirements Document, 4.5 million affected people are in need of relief food assistance and since then the government and its humanitarian partners have been doing their level best to address that need through food distribution to targeted populations. However, occasionally, inadequate recourses, especially blended food, forced beneficiaries to receive incomplete food basket and reduced ration rate.

It was at this critical time that H.E. Israeli Ambassador Mr. Oded Ben-Haim initiated this donation with the view to protecting children at risk against malnutrition and, today, I am honored to receive this donation on behalf of the government and the affected children. Though this happens to be the first time that the government of Israel provides such humanitarian assistance, they have been always with us in our efforts towards eradicating poverty and hence reducing vulnerability to disaster risks thereby supporting the operationalization of the new disaster risk management system in Ethiopia. Today’s donation symbolizes existing strong cooperation and friendship between the two countries and has its own contribution towards further strengthening that.

Finally, on behalf of the government of Ethiopia and that of my own, I would like to thank the government and the people of Israel for joining us in mitigating drought induced food insecurity and assure you that the donation will be utilized for the intended purpose, assisting food insecure and moderately malnourished children. I wish also to express my great appreciation to H.E. Ambassador Mr. Oded Ben-Haim for his consideration and being able to hand over the food in a short period of time."