Ethiopia: UNCTSO - Field Report SNNPR No. 8

Situation Report
Originally published
Improving Coordination and Humanitarian Response in Parts of SNNPR

Assessment mission: 22 - 25 September 2003
By Dr. Wolde-Selassie Abbute, Field Officer, UN OCHA Ethiopia

1. Introduction and background

UN OCHA Ethiopia field mission conducted a short follow up assessment on the progress of coordination and humanitarian response activities in Dawuro, Gurage, Hadiya, Kambata-Tambaro, and Silte Zones. In the mean time, the assessor facilitated Emergency Partners Coordination Forum meetings in Dawuro and Gurage Zones. The mission was carried out from 22 to 25 September 2003. The overall emergency coordination in information exchange and decision-making has been substantially enhanced alongside improving humanitarian responses in the areas visited.

2. Mission findings

2.1 Dawuro Zone

Loama and Genna Bosa Woredas of the zone did have serious warehousing problems and in certain cases offices and schools were used for storing aid food. Recently, WFP responded to this serious problem by providing two Rubb Halls for both woredas. The one for Loama is erected at Gessa, the administrative center of the woreda. The other for Genna Bosa is not yet erected due to the on-going rains at the time of the visit, which constrained to transport the Rubb Hall to its intended location inside the woreda. The beneficiary figures were updates based on field assessments and enhanced coordination among emergency coordination partners.

2.2 Kambata-Tambaro Zone

All the woredas in the zone are affected by the current crisis. Based on empirical field assessments and coordinated efforts of the emergency partners, humanitarian response has improved. In addition to the improved needy figures, two Therapeutic Feeding Centres (TFCs) were opened in Omo-Sheleko and Kadida-Gamela Woredas to treat the severely malnourished children. The third TFC is in the process of opening at Angacha Woreda. Significant improvement has been achieved in the humanitarian response and information exchange due to the consolidated coordination efforts of the partner agencies.

2.3 Hadiya Zone

The zone is one of the worst affected livestock disease areas, particularly African Horse Sickness and Lump Skin. Despite moderate subsiding, Lump Skin disease still persists. The zone has also been badly hit by hailstorm, heavy rain and flooding damages. Nevertheless, there has been substantial improvement in the humanitarian situation updates and response. Information exchange among partners at different levels has begun showing improvement. Agencies were strengthening closer monitoring through field assessments at detected hotspots. UN OCHA Ethiopia conducted an assessment in Shashogo Woreda, FAO has undertaken an assessment on livestock diseases and crop performance, and UNICEF assigned a full time field monitor to the zone. The latter has been extending multiple supports to the zonal Disaster Prevention & Preparedness (DPP) desk by organizing joint visits to affected areas as well as consolidating minutes of emergency partners' coordination forum meetings.

2.4 Silte Zone

Project Mercy significantly improved its efforts and solved most of the multiple problems that used to exist in the over all operational standards of the Dalocha TFC. In the meantime, the Regional Health and Nutrition Task Force immediately responded to the reported severe malnutrition case in Sankura Woreda. A team composed of members from UNICEF, Save the Children USA (SC-US), the Regional Health Bureau, and Action Contre la Faim (ACF) jointly conducted a rapid assessment in the woreda. The result of the assessment asserted the prevalence of malnutrition but not too severe as reported by the woreda. Hence, the problem can be addressed by improving supplementary food distribution and providing immediate food ration to the 12,995 needy people who are not yet included in the beneficiary list. Information exchange and coordination among emergency partners in the zone improved.

2.5 Gurage Zone

There is better flow of humanitarian situation updates among emergency partners in the zone. Severe emergency problem reported prevailing in Meskan Woreda. There is a serious malnutrition problem in kebeles, which are not included in the relief food beneficiary list. A total of 9,870 needy people are not yet able to get access to food aid. Supplementary food shortage was also noted due to lack of enough stock. Project Mercy, an NGO operating in emergency relief in the area, and the local government line departments stressed a need to conduct a nutrition survey in order to understand the status of malnutrition and improvements so far. The admission rate to the TFCs is stated to be decreasing, indicting certain improvements. In the affected areas of the zone, malaria threat is increasing though it is endemic to the lowlands.

3. Conclusions and recommendations

The formation and facilitation of 'emergency partners coordination meetings' at regional, zonal, and special woreda levels by the UNCTSO-Awassa has contributed a great deal in the institutionalisation of coordination structures in information exchange and decision-making as well as in the enhancement of humanitarian responses. Therefore, these institutionalised coordination forums should be strengthened in order to effectively synchronize the efforts of all relevant partners so as to address efficiently the currently persisting humanitarian crisis in the region.


ACF Action Contre la Faim
DPPC Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Commission (Federal Government level)
DPPB Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Bureau (Regional level)
DPPD Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Department (Zonal level)
FAO Food and Agricultural Organisation
NGO Non-Governmental-Organisation
SC-US Save the Children Fund United States
TFC Therapeutic Feeding Centre
UNCT United Nations Country Team
UNCT SO United Nations Country Team Support Office
UNDP United Nations Development Programme
UNICEF United Nations Children Fund
UN OCHA United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
WFP World Food Programme


The designations employed and the presentation of material in this document do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever of the UN concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.

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