ICRC trucks delivered the supplies to ten distribution points, located inside or close to the Temporary Security Zone, a buffer zone along the Ethiopian-Eritrean border. People were delighted to get the seed before the sowing season started, and the food will keep them going until harvest time. In the village of Una Watot (in Mai Aini), the women ululated to express their joy. "We would not have known what to do if there had been no assistance," a villager told the ICRC delegate.
In the region of Gash-Barka, distributions are continuing. Since early May, the ICRC has delivered 137 tonnes of sorghum seed and 842 tonnes of food. "War and drought made the people here dependent on assistance. With the seed you are providing, and some rain, we hope to become independent again," said a local administrator in Adi Keshi during the relief operation there.
The ICRC drought response in Eritrea focuses on families displaced during the border war with Ethiopia. In total, 20,000 households in Debub and Gash-Barka (100,000 people) are receiving 457 tonnes of seed and 1,915 tonnes of food, consisting of wheat grain, split peas, oil, sugar and salt. Providing seed will encourage drought-affected farmers to grow their own crops and become self-sufficient again.
Further information: Marçal Izard, ICRC Asmara, tel. ++2911 181 164