MP Hirpe Muleta passes away

MP Hirpe Muleta passes away
By Yonas Abiye, EthiopianReporter
Hirpe Muleta, one of the women lawmakers in the House of People’s Representatives, has passed away at the age of 64, the Communications Office of the House of People’s Representatives (HPR), announced on Thursday.

Hirpe was elected for the parliamentary seat during the 2015 General Elections under the ticket of the Oromo People’s Democratic Organization (OPDO) representing the Alem Genna constituency of the Finfine Surrounding Special Zone of the Oromia Regional State.

According to information obtained from the Communications Office of the HPR, Hirpe died from natural causes.

Before her three-year parliamentary tenure, she was a member of the Oromia Regional Council a.k.a. Chaffee Oromia where she served as chairperson of the Women and Children Affairs Standing Committee, according to her biography.

Though she is little know in the House’s regular meetings, she has served over four decades as a civil servant — mainly in teaching — under three regimes since the era of Emperor Haile-Selassie I.

Born in Sebeta town in 1954, she has been teaching language (Amharic and Afaan Oromo) at elementary and high schools in various parts of the country for more than 44 years.

Hirpe, who first graduated with her diploma from the former Harar Teacher’s Training Center in early 1970s, has acquired her BA in Amharic/English language while she recently did her MA in Afaan Oromo both from Addis Ababa University (AAU).

She was the second MP whose sudden death was declared while in office, before finishing the existing parliamentary term that would end in 2020.

It is to be recalled that in November 2016, MP Addisie Zeleke, was found dead in her office. She was 48 then and had been a representing member of the Amhara Regional State and her party, the Amhara National Democratic Movement (ANDM).

She had also worked at various departments in the Amhara region before she became a member of parliament in 2015.

The late Hirpe’s funeral ceremony took place yesterday at Misrake-Tsehay St. Gabriel Church around Mekanisa vicinity, in the presence of her families and colleagues. Coincidently, her news of death has come while the House was in its half-a-year recess. Hirpe is survived by her husband and four daughters.

Japanese company monopoly of NTE questioned

http://capitalethiopia.com By Muluken Yewondwossen

Legal issues have erupted related to the monopolization of the National Tobacco Enterprise (NTE) by private companies related to the full privatization process.
A couple of weeks ago the Ministry of Private Enterprises (MoPE), agreed to the second biggest deal in the country with Japan Tobacco International (JTI), to sell the remaining share of the government business of NTE at a cost of USD 434 million.
According to the deal the company took the remaining 30 percent of NTE which means that JTI owns over 70 percent of the tobacco company including a record 40 percent purchase a year ago at USD 510 million. The balance is managed by the Yemeni firm, Sheba Group, who initially joined the monopoly in 1999. Their share gradually increased to about 30 percent.
Wondafrash Assefa, Public Relations head of MoPE, told Capital that the company also took a ten year monopoly right on the privatization agreement which was signed some weeks back.
He said that the agreement stated that the monopoly right will be extended for a decade.
“It is a sensitive sector that has to be strictly controlled unlike other investments or privatization,” Wondafrash said. “It is not encouraged for other private actors to engage in the sector since it is a dangerous business,” he explained.
“The monopoly is given because it needs close follow up by the government,” he added.
Experts in the sector argued that the monopoly for the private actor is against the market economy policy and strategy adopted by the government.
Wondafrash defended this saying that there is a right to transfer an enterprise with the monopoly rights. When we sold to Sheba we talked with the board about the legality of the monopoly.
An expert at the Trade Competition and Consumers’ Protection Authority argued that the sector will be opened to other private actors since it is the issue of competition and consumer protection. “It shall be applied in a strict manner,” he argued.
Daniel Getnet, head of Dabe Investment and Consulting and Conveyance PLC, a legal consultancy firm for businesses mainly for FDIs’, told Capital that the issue will be settled by the constitution and depends on a proclamation amended by parliament.
“As far as I know there is not a law in the country that allows the right to monopolies besides the National Lottery,” the legal expert said.
In some cases there are compromises by the government for some sectors, according to experts.
“It is all about the interpretation issue. If it was necessary to give a monopoly right the constitution shall give a monopoly right for tobacco like national lotteries,” Dabe’s head said.
“There is also an antimonopoly law that prevents monopolization and anticompetitive activities by the companies,” Daniel said.
The investment law allows for a monopoly for locals and is open to the overseas actors but does not mention trading excluding some selected sectors that are monopolized by the government or the finance sector.
But he agreed that it is sensitive to allow many actors on the sector. “But previously an enterprise that the government has also share but currently it is fully privatized that may against the policy of the government,” experts added.
Proclamation no. 181/1999 ‘Transfer of the Monopoly Right of the National Tobacco Enterprise to the National Tobacco Enterprise (Ethiopia) Share Company’ issued when Sheba joined the sector in 1999 stated in its preamble that the National Tobacco Enterprise has been partially privatized and converted into a share company.
It added that it has become necessary to transfer the monopoly right of the National Tobacco Enterprise, as stipulated by its establishment proclamation, to the National Tobacco Enterprise (Ethiopia) Share Company. However, there is not an additional law that supports the full acquisition of the enterprise via private actors.
The enterprise has been given an exclusive right to produce, process, manufacture, distribute, import and export tobacco and tobacco products in Ethiopia. The enterprise also has tobacco farms at Shewa Robit, Hawassa, Bilatie and Wolaita.

New government, new possibilities

http://capitalethiopia.com By Eskedar Kifle

Somaliland, a country that is yet to be recognized as an independent state from Somalia held its third presidential election on November 2017. A delegation along with the new president visited Ethiopia this week and spoke to Ethiopia’s Prime Minister and other government officials. Although Somaliland is a success story in many aspects, the country is challenged by a weak economy largely caused by Saudi Arabia’s ban on livestock export, which is one of the main driver’s of the country’s economy. Capital’s Eskedar Kifle spoke to Foreign Affairs Minister Dr. Saad Ali Shire about the new administration, the issues of recognition and Somaliland’s place in the horn of Africa.

Capital: Tell us about the delegation’s visit, what were some of the discussion points with the local authorities?

Dr. Saad Ali Shire: Now we have a new government; we had the third presidential election since 2003. There is a new president, a new cabinet has been appointed; I was reappointed to the same position as Minister of Foreign Affairs.

The purpose of our visit is a courtesy call from the Prime Minister; Somaliland is a very close friend of Ethiopia and it has always been a custom when a new president is appointed, to visit the Prime Minister here in Ethiopia. We also want to strengthen the good relationship we have with Ethiopia.

Capital: Can you tell us the specific points of discussion?

Ali Shire: We have touched upon many subjects; security, the economy and some projects we are carrying out jointly like the Berbera Corridor and the DP World Port, trade agreements, these are all issues that are ongoing. So these are some of the topics we touched upon. The President was accompanied by four ministers; myself, the Minister of Education, Minister of Interior and the Minister of Trade. All of them met their counterparts here in Addis Ababa.

Capital: Speaking of the projects you mentioned; Berbera corridor, what stage is it on now?

Ali Shire: The corridor, which is basically the road from Berbera to Wuchale hopefully will start this year; the road is going to be mainly funded by the United Arab Emirates. Now we are looking for consultants to perform the design and technical work on the road. Once the consultants are chosen and agreed up on, then the work will start and hopefully the construction itself will begin this year.saad-ali-shire-dr

Capital: We haven’t seen anything negative about the Presidential election you held in November. How would you say the whole thing went?

Ali Shire: I think everything went well. Somaliland is one of the most democratic and stable countries in Africa. We have a track record of holding free and fair elections; of course campaigning is always contentious but I think it all went well. On Election day, we had 1642 polling stations and the election took place in all of them except for three areas. There were no injuries, no clashes; nothing of the machete welding people you saw in the presidential election of Kenya. We had a big contingent of international observers and they have stated that by large it was free and fair. We had three contenders and eventually the two candidates that were not successful accepted the results and conceded.

About 550,000 people went to the polling stations to vote. The Kulmiye Party received the largest share of the votes.

Capital: Did more people come out to vote than the last election?

Ali Shire: We believe there may have been fewer numbers is the previous election, there were issues with double voting previously. The system we used this time did not allow double voting so the figures we saw were actual figures.

Capital: Whenever election season occurs in most African countries, there is always a preconceived notion that there will be violence, and that has been true many times. How did you manage to hold a peaceful election?

Ali Shire: I think we used the first biometric election system in Africa which really prevented anyone from tampering with the process, it is very good technology. And we don’t have a culture of political violence; people have confidence in the system, the national electoral commission did a fantastic job. Of course there is always contention; people question the validity of results and that was okay because the electoral commission was open to complaints and there are procedures to follow and they were able to satisfy the complaints and questions.

Capital: You have a new president now. What particular priorities has he set on the agenda?

Ali Shire: Well first, it is the same political party that won and is continuing. So as far as the bigger picture is concerned, the agenda is more or less the same. But of course every president brings with him or her their own priorities and agenda and the top priority for this government is economic development and job creation. Of course security is always the number one priority; it was for the previous government and it is for this one. But I think in addition to security, this president is setting for himself the target of creating jobs for youth.

Capital: One of the major challenges for Ethiopia is also creating employment for its large youth population. What does the unemployment rate among the youth look like in Somaliland? How are you addressing it?

Ali Shire: The unemployment among the youth is estimated at 75 percent which is extremely high. People are unemployed for a number of reasons and one of it is skills; young people don’t have the skills to market themselves and to be employed. Investment is another issue because you must have somebody who is willing to invest in the country to be able to create jobs.

The government’s resources are limited so it cannot create enough jobs. One of the difficulties we have as an unrecognized state is that it creates an additional uncertainty for investors. It is not easy to attract direct foreign investment into the country. Our target is to improve the environment, create an investment environment that is more attractive to investors whether they are foreign or local.

Capital: Speaking of recognizing Somaliland as a state, have there been any new developments?

Ali Shire: Somaliland is a country that is very well established. We have been on this road since 1991; it existed under the colonial era as a British protectorate, some people miss that bit. In the minds of a lot of people, Somalia is just one country and Somaliland is part of Somalia and wants to secede from the rest of Somalia.

It is not like that, we were two independent states that united and we just left that union because it didn’t work for us and it didn’t work for them and it didn’t work for the region either because it caused a lot of trouble and tension in the region and economically it didn’t work for anyone. That is why we left and we believe it is in the best interest of everyone to go their own way just like Djibouti. Djibouti was also mainly a Somali speaking country and it is doing very well compared to us. I think the international community recognizes that Somaliland is a state that fulfills all the requirements for an independent. We hope the international community will come to its senses and gives Somaliland the recognition it deserves; we have a very good legal case, both historical and humanitarian case. It is a matter of convincing the rest of the world that it is not just in the interest of Somaliland but the region, Africa and the rest of the world.

Capital: Everything seems to be in the right place for Somaliland to be recognized as an independent state. Then why do you think the international community hasn’t done that? Do they have an interest in not granting the recognition?

Ali Shire: That is a question that needs to be put forward to the international community. Different people give different reasons even though I am not in agreement with those reasons. People might say that Somalia is a country in turmoil and the recognition of Somaliland may make it even more difficult to solve the Somalia problem. Which I don’t think is right because as an independent state we would be able to assist Somalia reconcile and rebuild as a state. So I think it will be beneficial to Somalia and not a disadvantage.

Some people say well this may open a Pandora’s box in Africa, but according to the report provided by the AU Commission in 2005, Somaliland is a unique case, there is no other case like it in Africa so there is no reason to worry about a Pandora’s box being opened because it is a case of two states that have now parted their ways.

Capital: Have you resumed official talks with the Somalian government?

Ali Shire: Well we have been in talks with Somalia since 2012; those talks were suspended in 2015 then the idea was to wait for Somalia to elect a new president and they did so last year. The international community also wanted to wait until that election was completed. I hope we will be able to resume the talks even though sometimes it doesn’t give me a whole lot of hope that we will be able to make advances because they have gone back on a number of things we have agreed on together at the talks. I hope that this time the new president of Somalia will take the talks very seriously.

Capital: How would you describe Somaliland’s relationship with countries such as Turkey, Egypt and the Gulf States?

Ali Shire: We welcome friendships from all corners of the world and I don’t think there is any country that we have a bad relationship with. But of course, given where we are we have a close relationship with our neighbors. We are on good terms, we don’t have a special relationship with Turkey or Egypt; they are friendly countries as they are to Ethiopia. As far as we are concerned we are a peaceful state.

Capital: Last year, your country was facing a difficult situation due to the drought. How are you managing that?

Ali Shire: The drought last year was devastating it really decimated our livestock and it left a lot of people displaced at the present time all over the country and those people are still vulnerable and they need to be supported.

We also had the ban for livestock export to Saudi Arabia, the ban was lifted for a few weeks during the Haji time but it was re-imposed again and that is causing a lot of hardship economically in the country.

Capital: Why did Saudi Arabia ban livestock export?

Ali Shire: According to the Saudi Ministry of Agriculture, they said they found two animals that were infected by a disease. But these two animals were not from Somaliland, they were from Somalia. Unfortunately, we were punished which we believe we don’t deserve; our livestock is healthy, we have quarantine facilities with international standards and we hope the ban will be lifted. Livestock is our main export so to lose that is a big blow to the economy.

Capital: What about investment, have you seen any encouraging trend in that area?

Ali Shire: Well the biggest one, the DP World Port project which we have discussed before. We do have few foreign investors in the country in the area of oil exploration, manufacturing, infrastructure and so on. But we need many more and the main problem is like I said the lack of recognition. I think once we have recognition that will open the door for more investment. We think we have a lot of opportunities for investors, whether it is investment in our maritime resources, agricultural resources , mining, industry or even in services, there are plenty of opportunities.

Capital: You mentioned oil exploration, it is currently at the stage of exploration right now, do you think there is hope in finding it?

Ali Shire: There has been oil exploration in Somaliland for since the 50s or maybe 40s. The geological structure of Somaliland is very similar to that of Yemen, and so I think the logic goes as if oil can be found in Yemen then it could be found here as well. So we are very hopeful that one day we will strike oil.

Capital: You have previously mentioned that if Somaliland is recognized it will help alleviate regional security issues. Have you been facing security issues so far?

Ali Shire: Security is a top priority for us as well as every country in the region. I think we have played a critical part in ensuring we have stability not only in Somaliland but also in the other countries around us; we do spend a lot of resources on this. I think we have been successful so far and we have been sharing intelligence with our neighbors and the international community. Our troops on the ground, day in and out take care of our country’s security. We believe we carry more than our fair share of the burden of ensuring security in this part of the world.

Capital: How is the capability of your military?

Ali Shire: The fact that we are a peaceful state says something about the capability. We don’t have a huge army, but we have enough to ensure security. May I also add that security is not only dependent on the size and capacity of the army but also in our community. It is really the community that looks after it. If they find or see anything suspicious, they immediately report it to the police.

Capital: Let’s talk about the state of democracy, specifically to the freedom of expression and free media. There have been reports by watchdog groups that journalists are jailed without proper due process. What do you say about that?

Ali Shire: I think I can state that we have a very vibrant and free press. Our constitution guarantees the freedom of expression and association. If you can read and write Somali and follow the Somaliland press, then you would understand how free it is. I think people sometimes go beyond proper boundaries, sometimes they cross red lines and you may have a few incidents here and there, but I think if you consider the totality of the freedom that is there for the press, you would be impressed. I am not aware of any journalist who is now behind bars for their views, some of them might have trespassed on others’ rights, but there is no one that has been sentenced arbitrarily.

Capital: Somaliland has also been in the news recently for passing a law that criminalizes rape. Previously the way to deal with situations like that was by marrying the victims off to the offenders. The fact that such law has been passed, does it mean we will be seeing a more independent judicial system from traditional rules and women will enjoy better rights and protection?

Ali Shire: What this basically means is that if you commit a crime, if you sexually assault someone you cannot hide yourself under tradition and culture, you are responsible for what you have done. If you violate someone’s dignity you pay for it.

Capital: Let’s talk about the status of women and their participation in the country’s economy and politics. How does the government empower them? And politically, do we see women candidates participating to take over the big seat?

Ali Shire: Women are very active in all walks of life. In business they are very active, in education for example, at the primary level you will find parity between boys and girls. Of course as you go up to higher education you lose that parity, you will find more boys than girls at this time. But maybe 20 years down the road, we will achieve parity at the level of higher education.

As far as politics is concerned, I think women are not as active in politics as men because of traditions. I think it takes time; even in Europe, 100 years ago, the situation was very different, women were not allowed to vote. In Somaliland they do have the right to vote but you don’t find many women at the forefront of politics. In the new cabinet we have three new ministers; the minister for environment, minister of social affairs and minister of livestock and fisheries; they are all women. We also have many women that hold high-level places within the administration.

Capital: It might not be much now, but would you say the trend is changing with the participation of women?

Ali Shire: It is increasing. My view is that we really want parity and to get that, we really need to educate our girls. Because every woman who holds a position has it because she has the education and qualifications it has nothing to do with her gender so we need to work on that.

Selective prisoner release begins

http://capitalethiopia.com By Muluken Yewondwossen

On Monday January 15, Attorney General Getachew Ambaye announced the government would pardon 528 individuals currently in prison, and two days later it began releasing them. This included Dr. Merrara Gudina and Dr. Rufael Dissa.
A couple of weeks ago the leaders of EPRDF stated that political leaders and other activists would be released for political reconciliation. prisoner-2
The Attorney General stated that those convicted would be pardoned and those who were still undergoing trail would have their cases dismissed. He said that convicted individuals would be pardoned as opposed to receiving amnesty.
He said there were not political prisoners in the country.
At the press conference Getachew said that those released had passed pre conditions set by the government.
This included four pre conditions and criteria used to determine who would be pardoned or have their cases thrown out.
People had to not have caused casualties, not destroyed economic sites, or plotted against the constitution, in order to be pardoned, according to the Attorney General.
On the federal level 115 suspects, whose cases were ongoning trial, had them terminated.
It is reported that Merera Gudina (Prof), a prominent opposition figure and Chairman of the Oromo Federalist Congress who was arrested over two years ago is one of those who had their case thrown out.
In SNNP 413 people had their cases terminated
The suspects were arrested because of violence at Gedio and Segen Zones in SNNP. Their cases were undergoing trial.
The other regions have not yet come up with lists of people to be released, according to the Attorney General.
He said that the process will take two years.merrara-gudina-dr

He said that pardons and case terminations do not mean the law will not be enforced. “We want to give notice to those who think like that,” he said.
The current action is a direction that is given by the government, while the usual pardon is directly related with correctional facilities, according to Getachew.
Amnesty will be given for those who hide from law and left the country. “We will consider the details of individual cases,” he said.
He argued that there are not political prisoners in the country, but several oppositions, activists and international organizations claim there are.

Security forces open fire in Weldiya killing at least five [Addis Standard]

Etenesh Abera, Addis Standard

Addis Abeba, January 21/2018 – “At least five people were killed” yesterday and several others wounded when security forces opened fire at festival goers in Weldiya, some 510 km north of the capital Addis Ababa, in Amhara regional state, according to Alemayehu Yemiru, a resident of the town; but Alemayehu said he believes the number of causalities could be “much higher.” “It is hard to know the exact figure at this point before this chaos has subsided.” And according to a nurse in Weldia General Hospital, at least 18 people were also admitted to the hospital after sustaining “wounds from gun shots”; seven of them have sustained “serious injuries.”

The killing occurred in the second day of the annual celebrations of Timket, (Epiphany), an outdoor festival involving several activities by followers of the Ethiopian Orthodox Twahido church throughout the country. “After sending off the St. Michael Tabot (The replica of Tablet of the Law) to its Church in early afternoon, the youth have continued singing and dancing while marching through the town; at some point the songs have changed into anti-government protest songs,” said Alemayehu in a phone interview with Addis Standard. 

According to another source who wants to remain anonymous, there were “heavy security presence, including members of the federal army and the region’s police forces” throughout the festival since last Friday. “The only ones that were not armed were the city police forces,” said our interviewee, adding “I don’t understand why the security forces needed to open fire at the young people who were doing nothing but singing protest songs and marching through the city.”

Nigussu Tilahun, head of the communication bureau of the Amhara regional state, confirmed the news on his Facebook post   written in Amharic. He said that “people’s lives were lost” in a “conflict” between security forces and the youth in Weldiya town. He didn’t mention the number causalities but he said that after thorough investigations, the government would bring those responsible for “instigating the violence” and causing the death of “innocent civilians.”

According to Alemayehu Yemiru, members of the federal army and the Amhara regional state special security forces “have not left the town since the first week of December 2017 and hundreds of heavily armed security forces were dispatched to the festival areas including the church premises, which is very disturbing to see.” He said he also heard that there were causalities among the unarmed city police members, “but I can’t confirm that information.”

On December 03, 2017, a football match planned to happen between Mekelle city and Woldiya city was cancelled after protests have erupted in the city the previous day resulting in damages to several properties including some owned by businesses from Tigray regional state. A week later Tigrayan students from the Woldiya University have briefly left their campus for fear of ethnic clashes. They were quickly returned following interventions from local elders.

Alemayehu says further crackdown may follow today as protests were happening in various parts of the town denouncing yesterday’s killings. The internet has been cut off since yesterday afternoon, making obtaining pictures of the scene hard. AS

Ethiopia Should Release All Political Detainees, UN Says

GENEVA —
The Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights says it welcomes Ethiopia’s decision this week to release 115 detainees, including several leading political figures. But it says the government should free all those imprisoned for holding opposing opinions.

One of those freed Wednesday was Merera Gudina, a senior leader of the Oromo Federalist Congress party. Gudina was arrested in late 2015 and charged with collusion with groups outlawed by the Addis Ababa government.

The Ethiopian government imposed a state of emergency in October 2016. That followed deadly anti-government protests by the Oromo and Amhara ethnic groups, who are pressing for greater freedom.

U.N. human rights spokeswoman Liz Throssell told VOA that about 20,000 people were arrested during the state of emergency, which was lifted in August 2017. She said a number of people subsequently were released, but that the number of people still in detention remained high.

“That is why we are welcoming the moves by the government to start releasing people and we are welcoming the comments that the government and prime minister have made with regard to setting up reviews for people who can be released, also setting up task forces to look into reported killings,” she said.

Discontinued cases

Throssell said her office also welcomed the government’s decision to discontinue cases against 400 other detainees. However, she said she was concerned that certain categories of prisoners would not be eligible for release. These include people suspected of committing murder, causing injury, destroying infrastructure and attempting to overthrow the constitutional order by force.

“We appreciate the seriousness of some of the offenses that may have been committed, but we urge the government to review these conditions to ensure that they are neither interpreted nor implemented too broadly, thereby resulting in people being arbitrarily or wrongfully detained,” she said.

The U.N. human rights office is calling on the Ethiopian government to bring its anti-terrorism legislation and laws regarding civil society and the media in line with international human rights law and principles.

5 and 7 million Ethiopians need relief assistance, requiring around $895 million 2018

This alert has been prepared as a complement to the indicative humanitarian needs and requirements for Ethiopia presented in the 2018 Global Humanitarian Overview.

In advance of the finalization of the meher assessment results, it is anticipated that between 5 and 7 million people will be targeted with relief assistance, requiring around $895 million over the course of 2018.

The priorities for immediate financing highlighted in this document are geared towards achieving two purposes:

To ensure that ongoing critical lifesaving response activities can be sustained and scaled-up over the first half of the year in areas of continuing drought and conflict related need – including to avoid projected pipeline breaks during the first six months of the year.

To enable early action and investments at the start of 2018 that will reduce anticipated humanitarian needs and costs for later in the year – including to ensure readiness for new outbreaks of Acute Watery Diarrhea, to mitigate possible deteriorations in food insecurity and acute malnutrition, and to ensure non-functional boreholes are repaired before needs for expensive longdistance water trucking increase.

A full humanitarian plan and appeal for the year will be presented in January / early February 2018, based on the outcome of the meher assessment.

Ethiopia has experienced two years of exceptional drought emergency. In 2017, severe drought conditions continued in lowland, mostly pastoral areas, rendering hundreds of thousands destitute and displaced. The current southern autumn rains are again expected to under-perform, meaning that levels of food insecurity and acute malnutrition in the lowlands are likely to remain high. The well-managed, Government-led, life-saving response will need to be sustained across southern and eastern parts of the country through much of 2018. Across highland areas a strong meher harvest is anticipated, with some pockets of poor performance. Disease outbreaks are expected to continue in 2018. Additional humanitarian needs have arisen due to conflict, with several hundred thousand Ethiopians displaced. Many of those displaced over the course of 2017 are likely to require continuing relief assistance and recovery support in 2018.

As this document is released, a multi-agency, governmentled assessment was just completed, results of which are being compiled to confirm the full scale of humanitarian needs for the first part of 2018. The humanitarian response in 2017 was well-supported with both donor and Government resources: over $1 billion was mobilized to assist 8.5 million people. Similar levels of financial support will be required early in 2018, both to address immediate, priority humanitarian needs, and to protect development gains.

Additionally, efforts are underway between Government, humanitarian and development partners to develop a multiyear framework that will seek to: a) increase the quality and predictable delivery of required multi sectoral humanitarian response; b) mitigate future needs in areas that experience recurrent climate induced shock; c) support the strengthening of national service provision to address chronic and acute needs; and, d) support the recovery of affected communities. This will continue to help identify areas which require longer term solutions.