The first distribution took place last October, as part of an operation aimed at helping the most vulnerable members of society to recover from a prolonged dry season, the effects of which included substantial loss of livestock, the population's main source of livelihood.
Despite logistical difficulties, such as poor roads, and the long distances many people had to travel to reach a distribution point, the previous series of distributions were carried out successfully. A total of 2,500 tonnes of wheat, 820 tonnes of high-protein food and 400,000 litres of vegetable oil were distributed in the first two rounds.
Beginning in February, the ICRC and the Ethiopian Red Cross will extend this relief operation to other parts of the country. More than 700,000 additional needy people in drought-affected areas will receive food to ward off starvation and seed to restore their productive independence with the onset of the rains.
Further information: Gianni Volpin,
ICRC Addis Ababa, tel. ++25 11 51 83 66
or Emret Hege Egziabher, Ethiopian Red Cross Society, tel. ++25 11 15 31 39