Ethiopia: Some 2.8 mln people needs emergency assistance - Ministry

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Addis Ababa, February 7, 2011 (Addis Ababa) - The Ministry of Agriculture said some 2.8 million people are in need of emergency assistance in the country in 2011.

The number of people who are in need of emergency assistance has been verified through a study conducted by Government led multi-agency assessment teams.

Speaking at the release of the study, Agriculture State Minister, Mitiku Kassa said over 226 million US Dollar is needed for the stated emergency assistance in 2011.

He said the teams verified that over 180 million US Dollar is needed for food items for the coming one year and almost 46 million US Dollar for non food emergency assistance in the first six months of 2011.

More than twenty teams, consisting relevant experts from partners and regional experts, were deployed in all regions of the country and jointly conducted the seasonal assessment from 21st November to 5th December 2010.

The primary purpose of the seasonal assessment was to review the overall humanitarian situation and identify gaps to be filled, he said.

According to the findings, humanitarian situations in crop producing and in pastoral and Agro-pastoral areas of the country have improved significantly.

It is stated that agricultural products in most main crop season (meher) crop producing areas as well as food security situations in all regions considerably improved compared to the years in reference (2005- 2006).

As a result the number of population needing emergency assistance has decreased from 5.2 million in January to June 2010 to the current 2.8 million, which is the beneficiary number for analogue months of 2011.

The total emergency assistance required to address the gap during the 2011 is estimated at about 226.5 million US Dollar which is the sum total of the 180.5 for needed for buying nearly 181,000 metric tons of net food requirements.

In addition, there is a plan to provide targeted supplementary feeding program to about 956,000 beneficiaries in 168 woredas of seven regions. It is estimated that 54 million US Dollar is required in order to execute this plan.

It is also anticipated that the number of people needing emergency assistance will continue to decrease through expansion and scaling up of best practices and by further utilization of irrigation in the agricultural and reinforcement of the well planned and being implemented food security programs.

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