Ethiopia Weekly Humanitarian Bulletin, 2 December 2013

from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 02 Dec 2013

Key Events

  • Dengue fever outbreak reported in Dire Dawa city. The Government, with support from health partners, is implementing case management and vector control activities.

  • The return and reintegration operation for the Ethiopian migrants in Saudi is faced with resource shortfalls.
    Nearly 45,000 – of the estimated 120,000 needing repatriation – had arrived as of 27 November and are receiving the minimum level of assistance.

Health Update
Some 9,258 suspected cases of dengue fever were reported in Dire Dawa city over the past six weeks, of which 40 were confirmed. The Government, with support from health partners, are implementing case management and vector control activities. Dengue fever is an infectious disease caused by the dengue virus and spread by mosquito. The prevention and control of the outbreak solely depends on effective vector control measures.

Meanwhile, measles cases continue to be reported from around the country. To date, 492 measles cases were reported from Amhara, Benishangul Gumuz, Gambella, Oromia, SNNP and Somali regions. The majority of the cases are from three zones in Oromia, seven zones in SNNP and three zones in Somali. Some of the woredas affected by the measles outbreak are nutrition hotspot priority 1 and 2 woredas. Humanitarian partners are concerned by this overlap, as the combination of measles and malnutrition highly increases mortality rates. Separately, there is an upsurge in malaria cases with 86,762 cases and five deaths reported nationally, the majority from Amhara and SNNP regions. Case management and control activities are on-going, including indoor residual spraying. For more information, contact:

Update on Saudi Returnees
Since 14 November, the Government of Ethiopia is facing a mass return of migrants deported from Saudi Arabia following the new Saudi Foreign Labour Legislation. Twelve daily flights are bringing the migrants home. As of 27 November, nearly 45,000 – of the estimated 120,000 needing repatriation – had arrived. Given the large number of returnees and the limited resource at hand, the arrivals are provided with the minimum level of assistance, including temporary shelter in seven transit centres, food, water, clothing, medical support and cash for onward transportation.
Congestions at the transit centres and poor sanitation facilities in some of them increase the risk of a disease outbreak. Although all the returnees require psycho-social support given the traumatic experience they reported, including rape and torture, the most pressing protection concerns are for the women, especially the pregnant and breastfeeding mothers and the un-accompanied minors (UAM). Up to 70 per cent of the returned women are pregnant and/or breastfeeding and some 100 UAMs were registered as of 27 November. Family tracing and reunification of the UAMs is on-going. The Government has allocated 50 million birr to ensure the smooth and dignified reintegration of the returnees within their communities. An estimated US$10 million is required for the operation (for the aforementioned basic assistance). Donors and operational partners are rallying to mobilize resources to respond to this emergency. For more information, contact:

Education Update
In Somali region, 6,000 school-aged children (50 per cent girls) in the conflict-affected Meyu Muluke and Kubi woredas of Nogob zone are in need of education in emergency intervention. Similarly in Fafan zone, an estimated 2,500 children displaced by conflict require education support. The Education Cluster is planning a rapid joint needs assessment to the areas, provided they get security clearance. Also in Somali, more than 5,800 students (35 per cent girls) in the flood-affected woredas of Mustahil, Kelafo and Ferfer had their schooling interrupted. Ten formal primary schools and eighteen Alternative Basic Education Centres were damaged. Education in emergency intervention is ongoing supporting 3,100 students (50 per cent girls). For more information, contact

Relief food update
As of 27 November, distribution of the fifth round of relief food stood at 80 per cent and the sixth round at 13 per cent.
Meanwhile, dispatch of the sixth round relief food reached 65 per cent. The humanitarian community is discussing ways to cover the seventh round relief food ration, which will be the “bridging round” until the next Humanitarian Requirements Document. Resource shortfalls to cover the relief food operations in the next year are daunting. For more information, contact

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:

To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit