Ethiopia

Ethiopia: Humanitarian Bulletin - 22 Jun 2009

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Locust Swarms in Seven Regions

FAO reports that locust swarms have been confirmed in seven regions in the country, including in areas where there is no previous record of infestation. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MoARD), in collaboration with FAO and the Desert Locust Control Office (DLCO) for Eastern Africa, is closely monitoring the situation. The Government is expected to present a response plan specifying immediate and medium-term actions to be taken during the week. To control the spread of the infestation, MoARD has identified immediate requirements, amounting to approximately US$ 1 million. Meanwhile, a total of 1,390 hectares of land in Somali, Oromiya, Dire Dawa and Harari has been sprayed through ground and air operations in May and June. Control efforts in the area of origin (Somaliland), however, are challenged by community resistance to air spraying operations. For more information contact: fao-ethiopia@fao.org

Emergency Food Pipeline Breaks

WFP reports that the relief food pipeline is broken and urgent donor support is required. Given the critical nature of the situation, WFP has requested the Government to give additional berths for food aid ships arriving in Djibouti and priority for relief food import into Ethiopia and dispatch throughout the country. In response, the Disaster Risk Management and Food Security Sector (DRMFSS) reported that Transport Coordination Committee being co-chaired by the Government and WFP has made a decision to have a regular meeting on the port status. In the meantime, the Government, through DRMFSS, has taken the lead in addressing the availability of trucks and submitted a schedule to the Road Transport Authority on the daily requirement of trucks. Transport companies working on the port corridor were briefed on the precedence to uplift food aid from Djibouti port as per the requirement. The capacity of daily uplift is 4,000 MT, which requires 100 trucks with a loading capacity of 40 tons per truck. There is also agreement to use ports at Berbera and Port Sudan. For more information contact: wfp.addisababa@wfp.org & mulunehw@dppc.gov.et

Market Update

WFP's May Market Watch reports that the price of grain is decreasing in most large urban markets due to decline in demand and government restrictions imposed on the bulk purchase of cereals from local markets. The supply of cereals has also increased during the month due to release of stocks by farmers anticipating further price decline as green maize harvests have started to arrive in markets. Meanwhile, general inflation based on the monthly moving average stood at 41.6 per cent in May 2009, with food inflation at 52.6 per cent and non-food inflation at 24.5 per cent. This reflects a nearly 2 per cent decrease compared to April 2009, although the rate remains 19.8 per cent higher than that of May 2008. For more information contact: wfp.addisababa@wfp.org

Nutrition Response

To strengthen the nutrition response, the Government, with UNICEF support, has developed a 'Therapeutic Feeding Programme (TFP) roll-out strategy', consisting of establishing one Outpatient Therapeutic Programme (OTP) for the management of uncomplicated Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) in every health post in hotspot woredas and a minimum of 1 to 2 Therapeutic Feeding Units (TFUs) per woreda for the treatment of complicated SAM. The roll-out strategy has begun in all 67 hotspot woredas of Oromiya Region, while preparatory actions are ongoing in SNNPR and Amhara Region. Meanwhile, the findings of the Somali Region nutrition survey are expected to be shared with the Nutrition Steering Committee next week and a comprehensive response plan developed at the regional level thereafter. Ensuring rapid action is essential as the situation in the region is likely to deteriorate given the reportedly poor performance of the gu rains and the upcoming hagga dry season. Moreover, in Amhara, regional authorities together with NGOs are planning assessments in the identified hotspot woredas of Telemet, Wadla, Sehala, Abergele, Argoba, Legihida and Bati. For more information contact: kmcdonald@unicef.org & ocha-eth@un.org

AWD Update

WHO reports that 353 cases of Acute Watery Diarrhoea (AWD) and six deaths were reported from 11 woredas in Oromiya, Afar and SNNPR between 1 and 7 June. Moreover, a suspected AWD outbreak has been reported in Afdem and Miesso woredas of Shinile zone, Somali Region. The Somali Regional Health Bureau (RHB) dispatched a joint assessment team comprising representatives from the RHB, Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Bureau (DPPB), Regional Water Bureau (RWB), Oxfam GB and Hararghe Catholic Secretariat (HCS) to the affected areas on 17 June. While a comprehensive response will be developed based on the team's findings, immediate assistance in the form of medicines, oral rehydration salts (ORS) and other material and CTC equipment was dispatched with the team by the RHB and UNICEF. Oxfam and DPPB are providing water trucking to the affected areas. WHO also continues to provide technical support to Oromiya, Afar, Harari and SNNPR through provision of emergency drug kits, supporting assessments, monitoring and supervision, and strengthening surveillance activities. UNICEF distributed printed materials on AWD prevention and response measures to regional education and health bureaus in Harari and SNNPR and is sending materials for set-up of five CTCs to Harari Region, as well as 450 kg of calcium hypochlorite water treatment chemicals, enough to cover the needs of more than 83,500 people for one month, and 266,160 sachets of PUR water treatment chemical, sufficient for 6,000 people for a period of one month. Meanwhile in response to the relapse of AWD in Gewane and Buremudaytu woredas in Afar, the RHB and RWB with support from WHO and UNICEF, prepared an AWD preparedness plan for June to November 2009. The draft plan targets 15 woredas with an estimated at-risk population of 636,530 residents and 70,500 seasonal daily labourers from cotton plantations. For more information contact: who-wro@et.afro.who.int & kmcdonald@unicef.org

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