FAO/GIEWS - Foodcrops & Shortages 1-2/00 - Eritrea

The outlook for the sorghum crop, about to be harvested, in coastal areas is unfavourable due to drought. Furthermore, despite normal to above-normal rains in September and October the yields of the 1999 main season grains, which have just been harvested, were affected due to delayed sowing. In addition, in areas affected by armed conflict with neighbouring Ethiopia, production was seriously affected by population displacement.
The Desert Locust situation remains calm but with recent winter rains along coastal areas, there is risk of increased locust numbers along Red Sea coastal plains.

The food situation is very tight for nearly 600 000 people affected by the war with Ethiopia and prevailing drought along the coastal areas. Donor support is sought for an Emergency Operation approved by FAO and WFP in March 1999 for 44 321 tonnes, to provide food assistance for 268 000 people most affected by the war with Ethiopia, of which less than 5 000 tonnes had been delivered by the end of December. Total pledges by the end of December amounted to 31 000 tonnes, with only 15 000 tonnes delivered so far. The UN Country Team has also appealed in January 2000 for US$42.7 million to assist some 372 000 war-affected and over 211 000 drought affected people.