The WFP Executive Director's proposed travel to the affected region on 11 April, as the UN Secretary General's Special Envoy on the Drought in the Horn of Africa, underscores the severity of the situation.
ACT members in Ethiopia, the Ethiopian Orthodox Church (EOC), the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus (EECMY) and the Lutheran World Federation/Department of World Service Ethiopia (LWF/DWS) reports that due to the current emergency in Ethiopia, more than 8 million people will require approximately 900,000 MT of relief food aid in order to avoid another famine. The current crisis is being compared to the severe famine which gripped the region in the mid 80's.
This emergency has its roots in the failure of the belg (short rains) and the meher (long rains) in 1998, which resulted in a significant increase in the number of vulnerable people requiring food assistance in early 1999.
Prompt intervention by ACT members, the Government and other relief agencies in mid -1999 alleviated the situation somewhat and minimized mass population movements.
This precarious situation, however, was further exacerbated in 1999 by another complete failure of the belg rains in many parts of the country, including North & South Wello, South Tigray, North Shoa, East & West Hararghe, North Omo, and Konso. The ongoing conflict with Eritrea and the related insecurity are among the other factors, which have a direct bearing on the crisis.
The 3 ACT implementing members, in consultation with several other ACT members who are present in Ethiopia, have formulated a proposal for 67,312 MT of food to assist around 750,000 people. The over-all target of the Appeal is estimated at US$ 32 million of which the value of the food and internal transport, storage and handling (ITSH) costs represents more than US$ 30 million. Requests for food assistance and ITSH costs have been submitted to the European Union and other back-donors.
The ACT Ethiopia members' proposal is being finalized based on which an ACT Appeal for Ethiopia (AFET01) will be issued shortly.
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