Ethiopia

Ethiopia: Humanitarian Bulletin - 21 Dec 2009

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Food Security Update

The November food security update from the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWSNET) and WFP indicates that food insecurity persists in the eastern marginal cropping areas of the country, including southern and southeastern Tigray, North and South Wollo, Waghamera and North Shewa zones (Amhara) and East and West Hararghe zones (Oromia). The situation is stable in the western half of the country with the exception of Gambella Region, where the poor performance of the 2009 belg and kiremt rains has left many woredas food insecure, affecting fish availability and flood recession agriculture. Furthermore, the meher harvest is anticipated to be below-normal as a result of the late onset, erratic performance and early termination of the kiremt rains in some areas. Prices of cereals in different parts of the country have begun to decline with the start of meher harvest. For more information contact: ethiopia@fews.net & wfp.addisababa@wfp.org

WFP notes that seasonal rains have stopped early in some pastoral areas, including in Oromia and Somali regions, marking a very early start to the dry season. In parts of Somali Region, the dry season (jilaal) has begun approximately six weeks earlier than normal, with pocket areas in Afder, Shinile, Jijiga and Warder requiring water trucking. The Ogaden Welfare and Development Association (OWDA), with financial support from UNICEF, will commence water trucking in Bokh and Geladi woredas (Warder). MSF Holland is currently trucking water to 19 villages in Warder woreda and plans to extend the intervention until January 2010. The Disaster Prevention Preparedness Bureau (DPPB) discontinued water trucking operations to close to 12,000 people in Guradamole, Harshin, Warder, Bokh and Aisha woredas at the end of November due to financial constraints. In the lowland areas of Bale, Borena, Guji, East and West Hararghe zones (Oromia), water shortages also continue; the situation is acute in Midhaga and Fedis woredas in East Hararghe zone. Water trucking has not resumed since DPPB stopped its operation in the woredas last month due to financial constraints. For more information contact: wfp.addisababa@wfp.org & kmcdonald@unicef.org

WFP also reports that unseasonal rains continue to fall in isolated parts of the country. Although the rains are replenishing water sources and rejuvenating pasture, they could damage crops that are ready for harvesting in the lowland areas. FAO reports that, in Afar, heavy wind and rains resulted in localized flooding that damaged houses, crops and grazing lands in Berhale and Kobena woredas on 11 December. For more information contact: wfp.addisababa@wfp.org & sophie.gordon@fao.org

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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