Ethiopia

Ethiopia: Humanitarian Bulletin - 15 Jun 2009

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Food and Nutritional Security

The Amhara Regional Emergency Nutrition Coordination Unit (RENCU) in collaboration with Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Food Security Sector identified seven hotspot woredas, namely Telemet, Wadla, Sehala, Abergele, Argoba, Legihida and Bati, which nutrition assessment should be conducted. Meanwhile, CONCERN is undertaking an emergency standard nutrition assessment in Gobalafto woreda in North Wollo zone, following a request by the Amhara regional authorities, while ACF France is conducting nutrition intervention monitoring standard assessments in Malga and Loka Abaya woredas in SNNPR. Save the Children US is also undertaking standard assessments in Burji and Hulla woredas in the same region. In Tigray Region, a similar assessment is underway in Tselemeti woreda in Western zone. Findings of the above mentioned assessments will be shared with the Multi-Agency Nutrition Taskforce members. Meanwhile, the quality checking of the Somali Region nutritional survey data and review of the preliminary reports has been completed by the Emergency Nutrition Coordination Unit/Disaster Risk Management and Food Security Sector. Discussions on the preliminary reports are underway.

Terms of Trade have improved in all main markets in Shinile, Kebridehar and Fik zones in the last two months due to regular food aid distribution, increased supply of cereals and better livestock body conditions, according to the latest Save the Children UK/Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Bureau (DPPB) food security update. Poor performance of the gu rains and the upcoming dry hagga season could, however, degrade the improvement. CARE Ethiopia's latest food security update also indicates that poor 2008 meher rains, coupled with low supply and high prices of food grains, low livestock prices and poor purchasing power of communities, has contributed to a decline in food security in Borena, East and West Hararghe zones. The situation has forced poor households in Doba and lowland areas of Gemiches and Chiro woredas in West Hararghe zones to engage in negative copping strategies, including sale of household assets, increased labour migration and begging. Meanwhile, poor belg harvest prospects continue to be reported with close to 95% crop failure in Alamata woreda in Tigray Region and up to 75% failure in Goba Koricha woreda in West Hararghe zone, according to WFP's emergency weekly report. For more information contact: ocha=ACeth@un.org, wfp.addisababa@wfp.org, GetachewM@care.org.et, srs.earlywarningdepartment@yahoo.com & orlao@dppc.gov.et

Desert Locust Outbreak

FAO reports that in the past week, immature desert locust swarms have crossed into eastern parts of Ethiopia from neighbouring areas in north-western Somalia. Swarms have been reported in Amhara (Kombolcaha), Somali (Shinile) and in the highlands between Dire Dawa and Harar regions. According to FAO, the swarms are very mobile and difficult to control. Winds and rains have further exacerbated the situation. Aerial control operations were immediately mounted and a total area of 2.5 km near Harar and Dire Dawa was treated on 7 and 8 June. The Government agency responsible for locust control, the Desert Locust Control Office (DLCO), is leading control activities. Efforts are also underway to reactivate the weekly crisis meeting chaired by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. Approximately US$ 80,000 and 9,000 litres of chemicals are available for immediate response. For more information contact: fao-ethiopia@fao.org

Emergency Resource Update

The stakeholder food prioritization committee appealed to the Government to supply 11,000 MT of cereals from its own resources to meet immediate relief food needs in light of current critical shortages. WFP reports that it has no relief food available in the country due to resource shortfalls and transport congestion. In the meantime, the Disaster Risk Management Food Security Sector (DRMFSS) and WFP have 30,000 MT of food in the pipeline that can be used as collateral to borrow from the Ethiopian Food Security Reserve Authority (EFSRA). However, this quantity covers only one third of the monthly requirement. Moreover, although NGOs under the Joint Emergency Operation (JEOP) have food in the pipeline, it will not be available in Ethiopia until late July or August given the inadequate trucking capacity from Djibouti. In the absence of available food under the relief, Productive Safety Net and Targeted Supplementary Feeding programmes, the nutrition situation in various woredas of Oromiya, Amhara, Tigray, Somali, SNNPR could further deteriorate.

Nonetheless, considering the upcoming kiremt rains, WFP prepositioned 167 MT of food commodities in three potentially inaccessible woredas of Jikawo, Wanthua and Akobo in Gambella Region.

Meanwhile, since the beginning of April 2009, UNICEF has sent a total of 478 MT of Ready-to-Use-Therapeutic Food (RUTF) to the regions, adequate to treat about 47,800 severely malnourished children for one month or 23,900 severely malnourished children for two months. For more information contact: wfp.addisababa@wfp.org & kmcdonald@unicef.org

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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