Director of OCHA confirms Eritrea has enough potentials to storm the world, calls the world to increase her engagement


ERITREA- John Ging, the Director of Operations for the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), has on Friday, 14th of July, highlighted some of the country’s positive achievements since engaging more openly with the international community. The Director noted that the completion of a first four-year development-based Strategic Partnership Cooperation Framework (SPCF) for 2013-2016 contributed a significant progress on a number of Millennium Development Goals, most notably in the health sector. John Ging in his briefing highlighted the important progress that has been made in Eritrea over the last several years as he draws the world’s attention to the often overlooked situation in Eritrea.

According to reports, recently, the Government and the UN have signed a five-year Cooperation Framework (2017-2021) which includes expanded UN activities on youth, migration, gender and human rights. The Director mentioned in his talk that “Eritrea has enormous potential for growth in economic opportunities for its young people, and by consequence to contribute to greater stability in the region.”

In addition, it is reported that Ging spoke about the urgency and challenges in acceleration of the positive momentum. In Eritrea, the nutrition situation for children under 5 is concerning and acute malnutrition remains a major challenge. Also, Water and sanitation practices remain sub-optimal and less than half of the rural population have access to safe drinking water.

According to the Press release from OCHA, as published by APO, the food security situation in Eritrea is also precarious. This is probably because Eritrea is located in the arid Horn of Africa region, which therefore pits the country to be susceptible to recurrent droughts and most recently the impact of El Niño.

It is equally reported that the Director visited Serejeka sub-zone in Maekel region with the Minister of Health, a representative from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and UN colleagues based in the country. And that the delegation visited two health centres with nutrition programmes, and a programme designed to give young Eritreans skills training.

Contrary tonexpectation, the delegation reportedly witnessed well-implemented and high quality programs jointly implemented by the Government of the State of Eritrea (GoSE) and the UN, which have resulted in tangible improvements in the lives of vulnerable people. As a result of these projects, there has been an increase in vaccination coverage for children under 5 years of age. And up to 95 percent of children in the area around the health centres visited were vaccinated, the report revealed.

While responding on the outcome of the delegation’s visit, Ging expressed excitement, describing the situation as impressive. He therefore urged the international community to step in so as to improve the lives of the people of this region.

“The spirit and resilience of the Eritrean people is impressive. After speaking with the community members in Serejeka, living around the health centre we visited, it’s clear that the success of these nutrition programmes are deeply reliant on community members supporting one another. One local dairy farmer is providing fresh free milk to support the nutritional status of new mothers and encourage them to deliver their babies in the local health centre where there is critical support. It is an inspiring side of Eritrea. – the kind of local partnerships that we as the international community must continue to actively support.”

According to the press release, the Director called on the international community to increase the engagement with Eritrea and support funding for the SPCF 2017-2021 which requires US$329 million over five years, including for basic services such as  food security, nutrition, health, WASH, child protection, education and a multi-sector response to refugees He said that Eritrea should be a focus for the UN’s prevention agenda as strengthening engagement is the only path to development, stability and prevention of future humanitarian crisis.

“The situation of Eritrea is a reminder for all of us of the UN’s indispensable value where we see the positive and practical impact of the UN’s work,” Ging implored.









Correspondent: Ridwan A. Olayiwola