Djibouti + 5 more

Backgrounder: Questions and Answers on Ethiopia

News and Press Release
Originally published
What has Canada done for this crisis so far?

Canada is sending $16 million of food and emergency supplies to Ethiopia.

How much food is Canada sending?

Canada is sending 24,000 metric tonnes of food.

How many people could that feed? And for how long?

The 24,000 metric tonnes of food could give supplementary food to approximately 1 million people for a period of three months.

How much of Canada's $16 million is going to Ethiopia?

All of it, but the Minister will be making further announcements for other countries in the Horn of Africa in the coming weeks. This is also in addition to the $45 million spent on food security in Ethiopia in the last three years.

How does Canada's response of $16 million break down?

$7.1 million to World Vision Canada; Canadian Physicians for Aid and Relief; Canadian Lutheran World Relief and the Canadian Food Grains Bank to ship approximately 15,000 tonnes of Canadian wheat to Ethiopia. Announced on April 20, 2000.

$670,000 to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and OXFAM-Canada for emergency supplies and relief for the regions of Ethiopia most severely hit. Announced on April 20, 2000.

$1.5 million to UNICEF for the distribution of medicine and therapeutic rations for victims, as well as water and sanitation projects and education initiatives for those who have been displaced by the drought. Announced on April 12, 2000.

$6.25 million to the World Food Programme to help purchase, transport, and distribute emergency food supplies for drought victims. Announced on April 5, 2000.

What did Canada do before this crisis?

Canada has along-term commitment to Ethiopia and the region. In the last five years, Canada has spent $350 million in the Horn of Africa.

How much of the $350 million went to each country?

Djibouti: $4.69 million

Eritrea: $15.21 million

Ethiopia: $158.77 million

Kenya: $110.42 million

Somalia: $15.6 million

Sudan: $42.42 million

If Ethiopia has an early warning system, why didn't it work for this crisis?

The early warning system is the main reason that Canada is now announcing food aid. Prompt action now will in fact avert the type of tragedy we have seen in the past.

The early warning system could have worked better in the South, but there are a number of reasons why it didn't.

The south is a vast difficult territory because of a lack of roads and communication lines.

The people are nomadic and widely dispersed.

As we have heard from Catherine Bertini, World Food Programme Special Envoy, there are a number of security problems. This creates difficulties in not only the monitoring, but also in the delivery of relief.

CIDA is helping to strengthen the Ethiopian government's early warning and disaster response capacity with a five-year, $7.1 million project that is being implemented by Save the Children-Canada. The project improves the collection and interpretation of raw data such as weather fluctuations, crop performance and the migration patterns of the population. It also encourages community involvement and cooperation between the Ethiopian government and emergency measures organizations.

World Food Programme Special Envoy Catherine Bertini's Report that calls for more resources to provide: water supplies and water purification material; basic medical supplies; food aid and aid for the preservation or replacement of livestock. What is Canada doing?

In addition to emergency food aid, CIDA has just approved $670,000 for emergency supplies and relief.

Of that amount, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) will receive $500,000 for medical and emergency supplies and balanced high-protein food supplements to complement existing food aid. The ICRC will also supply material for the digging of wells and veterinarian medical supplies to help preserve livestock essential to the subsistence of many agricultural communities.

Also, OXFAM-Canada will receive $170,000 to supply clean water and for improvements to existing water sources in the south-eastern area of Ethiopia. OXFAM-Canada will also provide basic health services and urgently needed food supplements for famine victims.

What has Canada done in preventive measures in Ethiopia?

CIDA has a long-term commitments to improving food security in Ethiopia.

In 1995, CIDA began a set of long-term food-for-work projects with Canadian Lutheran World Relief, Canadian Physicians for Aid and Relief, OXFAM Canada, and World Vision Canada. For these projects, Canadian food aid is used as a resource to pay for local labour. The projects support work such as irrigation and transportation, aimed at increasing food production and availability. CIDA has contributed $40 million to this program.

Since 1995, CIDA has been supporting a project to fight malnutrition and infections in five countries in sub-Saharan Africa, including Ethiopia. World Vision Canada is implementing this project with local non-governmental organizations such as World Vision and CARE in Ethiopia. Approximately $10 million of the total contribution is going to Ethiopia.

A $15 million CIDA project is also helping Ethiopian institutions design water collection systems in northern Ethiopia, which will improve agricultural production. The project is implemented by the Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration, a division of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. A food-for-work component of this project will allow for the construction of water catchments and irrigation works.

Track record of prompt Canadian response.

Canadian development assistance to the region began in the early 1970s and Canada has participated in all major appeals for food aid.

Canada was one of the major contributors to the establishment of the Ethiopian Food Security Reserve Agency (EFSRA), which is now playing a key role in coordinating and managing responses from donors and non-governmental organizations to food emergencies.

In the past three years alone, the Agency has contributed close to $45 million in support of food security in Ethiopia. These types of projects, carried out in collaboration with Canadian non-governmental organizations, have helped to increase people's capacity to withstand droughts, and consequently, their harmful effects on recipient communities.

In 1999, CIDA was one of the first donors to respond to the appeal for aid by contributing over $9 million in emergency food aid to drought victims in Ethiopia and to help the Ethiopian Food Security Reserve Agency (EFSRA) replenish its stocks.

This year, CIDA responded quickly to the April 2000 UNICEF appeal for the people affected by drought in the Southern part of Ethiopia. In addition, CIDA is providing food to prevent famine in the North.


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=A9 Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, 1999