Ethiopia Weekly Humanitarian Bulletin, 17 June 2013

Report
from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 17 Jun 2013

Potato blight infestation in Oromia Region

Nine woredas in East Hararge zone of Oromia Region reported blight infestation on Irish potatoes. According to the results of a rapid assessment, 60 to 80 per cent of the potato harvest is so far damaged. Irish potato is one of the major crops consumed by households during the hunger season in both belg and meher cropping areas. Although currently under control, an army worm infestation last month had also affected two other major belg crops in the area: maize and sorghum. Coupled with the late onset of the belg rains and the subsequent low area planted with belg crops, the infestations will further reduce the expected yield this season. The implication of the yield reduction on the food security situation in the area will be captured by the upcoming multi-agency belg needs assessment. For more information, contact: ocha-eth@un.org

Refugee Update

In May, 2,487 new refugee arrivals were registered throughout the country, including 975 South Sudanese, 725 Eritreans, 719 Somalis and 68 Sudanese. UNHCR and the Government refugee agency, ARRA, have so far relocated some 800 Eritrean refugees to the new Hintsats camp. The opening of the new camp – the 4th camp in Tigray Region and the 6th camp hosting Eritrean refugees in the country – was expedited owing to the high and steady influx of refugees from Eritrea seen since March this year. A substantial number of these new arrivals are unaccompanied minors requiring special assistance and protection. UNHCR and partners are working to further expand the basic infrastructure of the new camp, including shelter, WASH, health and other basic communal facilities.

In Gambella Region, ARRA, with IOM support, has so far relocated 1,000 of the 6,000 Sudanese refugees living in Wanthowa woreda to Pugnido camp. An additional 10,000 refugees, keeping a large number of livestock, will be accommodated near the border. Meanwhile, two inter-agency assessments confirmed the arrival of 2,178 refugees from South Sudan in Dima woreda of Agnewak zone, Gambella Region between 7 May and 7 June. The new arrivals fled ongoing fighting between the South Sudanese Armed forces and the SSDM rebels in Pibor County of Jonglei State, and more are expected to arrive, reportedly from the Nyalongoro, Kaiwa and Niate areas of South Sudan.

Pending the distribution of a one-time food assistance, WFP had distributed high-energy biscuits, while UNHCR had provided basic emergency supplies, including plastic sheets, sleeping mats, blankets and jerry cans. Additional emergency supplies are being dispatched to the area. ARRA is planning to relocate the new arrivals to a safer location away from the border, before heavy kiremt rains impede road access. For more information, contact: gegziabk@unhcr.org

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