Ethiopia Weekly Humanitarian Bulletin, 26 August 2013

from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 26 Aug 2013

Health update
Following the polio outbreak in neighboring Somalia and in Dadaab refugee camp and the host district in Kenya, the Ethiopian government, in collaboration with health partners, strengthened community based surveillance and implemented polio supplementary immunization activities. Two immunization rounds targeted nearly 3 million children under 15-years in Somali Region, Harari Region, the city of Dire Dawa, as well as selected high-risk zones in Oromia and SNNP Regions. Subsequently on 14th August 2013 a Kenyan lab report provided advance notification of two suspected cases of Wild Polio virus in Dolo and Warder zones in the Somali region of Ethiopia and established a date of onset for the virus in Ethiopia as 10 July.

WHO redeployed three surveillance staff to support Gode, Afder and Liben zones’ health authorities. Four international Stop Transmission of Polio (STOP) Team members and one international consultant were deployed to Jijjiga, Shinile and Liben zones. Sensitization and capacity building of focal persons continue at the woreda level.

Response activities are being coordinated by National and Regional (Somali) command posts. Despite the availability of global and regional funds to combat Polio, an emergency CERF request is being considered. For more information, contact:

WASH update
In Somali region, the karan rains started with less frequency, intensity and coverage resulting in below normal rains in parts of Fafan zone. Similarly in central northern and north-eastern parts of Afar below normal rains require continued water trucking services to the area. Conversely, south and south-eastern parts of Afar region received near normal rains while floods affected parts of Amhara (Dawa Chefa woreda and Kemissie town) where reportedly four water points were damaged and water shortages are expected. Trench latrines were constructed and household water treatment chemicals were distributed to minimize the risk of WASH related disease outbreaks in Dawa Chefa woreda and Kemissie town.

National water trucking needs increased to 25 trucks this week due to reported water shortages in Afar, Oromia (East Hararge), Somali (Korahe and Shebelle), and Tigray regions. With a two-truck gap in Oromia, 23 trucks benefitted nearly 127,000 people throughout the country. In Afder zone in Somali region, the WASH taskforce reported population movement in search of water and pasture. For more information, contact

Refugee update
As of 16 August, Ethiopia hosts nearly 410,000 refugees. This past week more than 500 people sought refuge in Ethiopia including 141 South Sudanese, 136 Somalis and 237 Eritreans. This represents an increase in the number of Somalis and a decrease in the number of Eritrean and South Sudanese refugees compared to previous weeks. With an estimated 90,000 South Sudanese unaccounted for, a larger influx from Pibor County is expected once the rainy season ends and roads become passable. Separately, 14 Congolese arrived in Sherkole camp. UNHCR is following the increase in new arrivals from DRC closely.

The monitoring of absentees from general food distributions in Dollo Ado improved significantly following the distribution of proof of registration documents across the camps. Consequently in the past two weeks more than 970 people were de-activated from the ARRA databases after being absent from three consecutive food distributions.

Separately, ARRA main office was relocated to Melka Dida and liaison responsibilities in Dollo Ado were handed over to local officials. For more information, contact:

Nutrition update
In June, the number of new severely malnourished children admitted in therapeutic feeding programme sites increased by 11.9 per cent from 22,496 in May to 25,175 in June. In SNNP, admissions increased by 14 per cent, in Oromia by 21 per cent and in Amhara by 10 per cent. The TFP admission increase for severe and moderate malnutrition, linked to a deterioration of the food security situation in belg dependant areas, is expected as it coincides with the peak hunger gap in these areas. An additional contributing factor in Oromiya and SNNP regions may be community health day screenings. In other regions the nutrition situation can be described as good with a reported decrease in TFP admissions in Afar and Tigray. Despite the increase, the overall TFP admissions in June 2013 were lower by about 11 per cent compared to June 2012. A revision of hotspot woredas will reflect the evolving food security situation in the regions and guide appropriate nutrition responses. For more information, contract:

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:

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