Ethiopia: Drought Appeal No. MDRET001 Final Report


Period covered by this Final Report: 23 February, 2006 to 23 June 2007;

Final Appeal coverage: 72%;

Summary: This Emergency Appeal was launched on 23 February 2006 for CHF 1,452,294 (USD 1,097,224 or EUR 920,338) for 12 months to assist 36,341 beneficiaries. CHF 200,000 was allocated from the Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to respond to the immediate needs.

Summary: In the beginning of 2006 it became apparent that years of acute drought in several regions of the country had left farming and pastoralist households destitute and unable to feed themselves. The most affected were identified as inhabitants of the country's southern and south-eastern Oromiya and Somali regions whose traditional livelihoods depend on the fertility of the land and the health of their livestock. The immediate priority of the national society was to ensure the affected communities had access to safe water.

Red Cross volunteers were trucking water to 14 villages in the two hardest hit regions for two months. In total, 1.7 million litres of water has been distributed to 25,000 people. This was an expensive and logistically complicated endeavor that saved lives.

To have a sustained access to sufficient uncontaminated water, the Red Cross helped residents of the targeted villages to build seasonal rain harvest schemes. The ERCS also procured goats to help improve livestock assets of 600 most vulnerable pastoralist households. 2,730 drought-hit Ethiopian farmers received emergency agricultural assistance to help them prepare land for the next planting season after months of devastating crop failure. Promotion of better hygiene practices and use of latrines has been another priority. Red Cross volunteers have been engaged with the local communities to encourage improved hygiene practices. According to ERCS reports, Red Cross volunteers have reached some 72,000 people.

In August 2006, eight of the country's eleven regions experienced flooding due to heavy rains. Thousands of people were driven out of their homes, livelihoods were destroyed and large communities were exposed to new threats and epidemics. Nearly 2,000 people were affected and 500,000 people were made vulnerable. Thousands of livestock were killed and more than  42,000 hectares of crops were submerged. The outbreak of acute watery diarrhea (AWD) added to the concerns and demanded full attention of humanitarian agencies. The ERCS was compelled to temporarily divert its resources to respond to the unfolding humanitarian crises in northern and central regions of the country. Its immediate priority was to alleviate human suffering resulting from the tragic displacements.

ERCS volunteers worked round the clock and demonstrated an inspiring dedication. Their capacities however were overstretched and hard choices had to be made. This meant that some of the activities planned under the drought operation had to be put on hold. There were logistical constraints too. For several weeks, access to some of the drought affected areas was  interrupted because some feeder roads had been damaged by the August 2006 rains. As soon as the situation in the flooded areas improved, the suspended work with the drought-affectedcommunities in the south resumed.

However, the prolonged absence of a Federation representative in Addis Ababa created a gap in coordination within the Movement to adequately support the national society in its work. At the same time, ERCS embarked on a major restructuring process necessary to improve the way it is organized and works both at its headquarters and branches. The combination of the twohowever, inevitably slowed the pace of the ongoing operations. Donor response to the appeal has been good and the Federation takes this opportunity to thank its partners for their much valued contributions.

How we work

All International Federation assistance seeks to adhere to the Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO's) in Disaster Relief and is committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response (Sphere) in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable.

The International Federation's activities are aligned with its Global Agenda, which sets out four broad goals to meet the Federation's mission to "improve the lives of vulnerable people mobilizing the power of humanity".

Global Agenda Goals:

Reduce the numbers of deaths, injuries and impact from disasters.

Reduce the number of deaths, illnesses and impact from diseases and public health emergencies.

Increase local community, civil society and Red Cross Red Crescent capacity to address the most urgent situations of vulnerability.

Reduce intolerance, discrimination and social exclusion and promote respect for diversity and human dignity.

Contact information

For further information specifically related to this operation please contact: (note: one contact per level advised)

In Ethiopia: Fasika Kebede, Secretary General, Ethiopian Red Cross Society, Addis Ababa email: phone: + 251.11.515.38.53 fax: + 251.11.551.26.43

In Ethiopia: Vincent Toutain, Head of Federation Sub-Zone Office, email: phone: + 251.11.551.43.17 fax: + 251.11.551.28.88

In Kenya: Asha Mohammed, Federation Head of Eastern Africa Zone Office, Nairobi; email:; phone: +; fax +

In Geneva: John Roche, Operations Coordinator for East Africa region, email:; phone: +41 22730 4400, +41 79 251 8014 (cell phone)

In Geneva: Sabine Feuglet, Zone Management Support Officer for Europe and Eastern Africa; email:; telephone: +41.22.730.4349; fax : +41.22.733.0395