Ethiopia: Afar food crisis improving but ''far from over''

News and Press Release
Originally published
ADDIS ABABA, 18 March (IRIN) - The food crisis in Afar - one of Ethiopia's hardest hit regions - is improving, according to the UN's Emergencies Unit for Ethiopia (EUE). But it warned that the crisis was not over yet.
Afar region - where aid organisations first warned of the current drought emergency which has now affected 11 million people - is gradually emerging from the crisis.

"The situation in Afar in general appears to have improved but remains reversible," the EUE said in a report. It stressed however that the short rains due between March and April were vital to any recovery.

"Every effort must be made to prevent a second major wave of animal deaths and to prepare for a rehabilitation phase," it noted.

Tens of thousands of livestock are believed to have died during the drought which hit the remote and inhospitable region in northeastern Ethiopia, home to the nomadic Afar.

The EUE also warned that Afar region was not just afflicted by lack of rain. Poor trade was also causing shortages and the crisis was "far from over", it cautioned.


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