Flash Update of the 2005 Humanitarian Appeal for Ethiopia: A Joint Government and Humanitarian Partners' Appeal

Originally published



The Flash Update to the 2005 Joint Humanitarian Appeal has been developed in response to an increase in the number of vulnerable people requiring both food and non-food assistance. With emerging data of acute malnutrition, there is concern about survival of children in parts of the country, as well as food security conditions and general stress amongst the population at risk in some hotspot areas. Multi-agency teams led by the Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Commission (DPPC) conducted field assessments in eight regions from 20-25 April, and in consultation with regional authorities revised both emergency beneficiary numbers and their food and non-food aid requirements.

In terms of food aid, beneficiaries have increased by 687,470 from 3.1 million to 3.8 million. This translates into an additional food aid requirement of 66,198 MT, increasing the total requirement to 464,385 MT. Taking into account contributions already pledged and received, a shortfall of approximately 165,510 MT of food, valued at US $66.2 million remains to be secured. Following the belg/gu assessment to be undertaken beginning from late June, food aid requirements for the second half of 2005 in Somali and Afar regions, as well as in belg crop producing areas, will be established. The requirements during the July - December period for Afar and Somali Regions for the past three years have averaged approximately 160,000 MT. Additional requirements for belg producing areas vary significantly from year to year.

In terms of non-food requirements, while requirements for 'Agriculture', 'Disaster Response/ Capacity Strengthening' and 'Overall Co-Ordination' have not increased, there is an increased requirement of approximately US $12 million for 'Health and Nutrition' and US $ 12 million for 'Water and Sanitation'. Regarding nutrition activities, there is currently limited capacity and resources to meet the needs of malnourished children and urgent scaling of funding required. The total revised non-food requirements is now US$ 135.6 million, of which US $ 30.6 million (22.5 percent) has been resourced, leaving a funding gap of US $ 105 million. Details of funding requirements are included in the following sections of this document.

Table 1: Summary of 2005 Flash Update

Total Revised
Food (MT)*
398,187 MT
66,198 MT
464,385 MT
298,875 MT
165,510 MT
Food (US$)
Health and Nutrition
(including supplementary
food for the EOS/CSI)**





Water and Sanitation
Disaster Response/
Capacity Strengthening
Total Non-food
Grand Total: Food andNon-Food (US $)

*Food requirements do not include Afar and Somali requirements or any additional beg crop dependent area requirement - period from July to December.

** Extended Outreach Strategy/Child Survival Initiative includes US$ 53 million (88,927MT) for targeted supplementary food requirement and US$16.2 million (27,158MT) available against the requirement. Available resources for health and nutrition are based on confirmed receipt of donor contributions reported to DPPC, but not yet confirmed by the Health Sector.

1. Introduction

The humanitarian situation has shown signs of deterioration since the beginning of the year. With emerging data of acute malnutrition, there is concern about survival of children in parts of the country, as well as food security conditions and general stress amongst the population at risk in some hotspot areas. This situation has resulted from a combination of an increase in the number of vulnerable people requiring assistance in these affected areas and delays in the transfer of resources to beneficiaries, either under the emergency Appeal or the Productive Safety Nets Program (PSNP) during the first three months of the year. Recent findings from the regions indicate that a total of 687,470 additional beneficiaries will require food assistance of 66,198 MT from May - October 2005, bringing the total beneficiaries from 3.1 to 3.8 million and adjusted total requirements for 2005 to 464,385 MT. A total of US $ 105.9 million is required to meet the adjusted non-food needs of affected populations.

With the additional needs, 64 percent of requirements is covered and there is a projected shortfall of 165,027 MT of food for the period May - October 2005. Further requirements to the end of the year will be identified by the annual belg/gu assessment which begins in late June.

On the non-food side, only 22 percent of the total revised requirement of US$ 135.6 million has been met by the end of April. Critical gaps remain in all sectors included in the Joint Appeal. In particular, supplementary food is essential to reduce the current prevalence of acute malnutrition. Adequate and timely intervention in the non-food sectors of health, water and agriculture is required.

In contrast to previous years where only limited nutrition information was available, the Enhanced Outreach Strategy/Child Survival Initiative (EOS/CSI)[1] in combination with a multitude of nutrition surveys has provided an abundance of information on the nutritional status of children in Ethiopia. Recent nutrition information indicates a worrying trend in vulnerable areas and a fast deteriorating situation. To date, 136,000 children in the most vulnerable areas are severely malnourished (SAM). This figure could grow to an estimated 370,000 children. On average, SAM is double the national level in vulnerable areas and has reached critical levels of 4 percent in some areas.

Without treatment, a considerable number of severely malnourished children may be lost, which could be accelerated if additional shocks and other diseases, such as measles and diarrhea and pneumonia are not prevented. Currently, there is capacity nationwide to meet the needs of only 3,000 severely malnourished children and urgent resources are required to scale up treatment capacity to 19,400 on a day to day basis.

A major additional concern is that global acute malnutrition (GAM) rates are also well above emergency threshold levels in a number of woredas, reaching levels of over 15 percent. This comprises 360,000 children with moderate malnutrition who could become severely malnourished if not treated urgently. If adequate treatment is not provided over the next few months, the total caseload of moderately malnourished children could increase significantly. As a result of strengthened information for early warning, there is now a window of opportunity for donors to provide urgently needed funding support to stave off a major crisis.

The Government and humanitarian partners have been attempting to address the most urgent needs with the limited available funds. Some progress has been made to support livestock health and critical water supply needs in Somali and Afar regions. In parts of Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Region (SNNPR) and Oromiya Region, distribution of supplementary food and increased rations to areas where malnutrition is present has been a priority as well. Support to health clinics and hospitals with therapeutic feeding supplies and other support has been made where acute malnutrition among children has been assessed. Although these efforts have been increased in the past weeks, further and much more substantial interventions are required for which donor funding is urgently sought.

The Flash Update of the 2005 Humanitarian Appeal is a result of joint efforts by the government of Ethiopia and the humanitarian community. Led and coordinated by the DPPC, the update is based on comprehensive review and analysis of "hotspot"[2] data in food, agriculture, health/nutrition, water/sanitation emergency needs by the concerned Sectoral Task Forces. A multi-agency mission visited 8 affected regions from 20-25 April 2005 to consult with the regional authorities. Based on these reviews and consultations, food aid beneficiary numbers and other specific emergency requirements have been revised as necessary.

The regular belg and gu assessment could be carried out in June/July. Based on the more detailed data to be gathered during this comprehensive mission, revisions to the 2005 Humanitarian Appeal contained in the Flash Update will be reviewed and modified as necessary. In the following sections, the current humanitarian situation will be presented, revisions to sector requirements will be elaborated and the total revision to resource needs will be presented. Details of the requirements by region are presented in the Annexes to this document.

2. Humanitarian Conditions and Response by Region

Tigray: An unfavorable meher season and limited showers in January followed by a complete failure of rains in February has resulted in serious food and water shortages in central, southern and eastern Tigray. An additional 569 MTof food was distributed starting in April by DPPC to meet the critical needs of 30,655 new beneficiaries in two woredas.

Amhara: In four belg growing zones there had been concerns earlier due to absence of rains in February. The situation improved in March and April, and the current crop condition seems to be good, although in some areas concerns remain. The continuation of rains to the end of May is important for better production prospects.

Oromiya: The situation in certain lowland areas of eastern and central Oromiya has deteriorated with the delay in safety nets, poor start to the belg rains and 'serious' levels of malnutrition being reported in some areas. Hotspots have been identified in Bale, Arsi, East and West Hararghe zones where food security and malnutrition conditions have worsened significantly over the past months.

In East and West Haraghe, additional supplementary food was distributed to alleviate the acute nutrition situation in the most critical parts of these two zones. In Arsi, an advance distribution of safety nets food was provided to beneficiaries in one woreda in March.

SNNP: Due to poor harvest at the end of 2004, food shortages have been reported since March of this year in the lowland of Sidama zone. Some of the woredas in the zone have been identified by the DPPC as hotspots. Conditions are critical in Boricha, Sidama, where DPPC has increased beneficiary number from 13,000 to 50,000 and provided blended food for the 35 percent of the population which is considered particularly vulnerable. Since late March, clean water and additional supplementary food have been delivered.

Gambella: Due to ongoing sporadic incidents of violence, access remains to be an impediment to humanitarian assistance. Roughly 50,000 people have been identified in the 2005 Humanitarian Appeal and assisted by DPPC/WFP with food.

Harari: Unfavorable weather conditions earlier this year and poor belg season rainfall has delayed land preparation and planting and may impact negatively on overall agricultural production. In particular, in lowland areas livestock conditions are reportedly poor due to shortage of pasture and water.

Dire Dawa: Initial concerns due to the absence of rains in February have been eased by the belated arrival of rains in March. Future crop and livestock performance will depend on the availability of rainfall until May. In few lowland areas chronic shortage of water remains a serious problem due to overall poor performance of the rains.

Afar: In January 2005 the regional government confirmed the deterioration of conditions in pasture and water, and increased stress as a result of reduced livelihoods from repeated years of rain failure. Since then, due to timely mobilization of resources and some rain in parts of the region in March as well as precipitation in April in other parts, the situation has improved, but it will take considerable time before pastoral livelihoods recover.

The response to the crisis in Afar has been positive. Regular distributions of DPPC/WFP relief food have taken place and NGOs, UN agencies and regional bureaus have intervened in health and nutrition, livestock health, water tankering, and environmental sanitation.

Somali: The recent April - May rains in parts of Afder, Liban, Gode, Fiq, Degehabur and Jijiga as well as heavy rains in Shinile in mid-March have helped alleviate the severe long-existing water shortages in these areas though it is too early to predict the mid-term impact of the rain. As this update is being finalized there has been extensive flooding along the Wabe Shebelle and Fafan rivers causing deathes and extensive damage to homes and farmlands. While the full impact of these floods is still unknown and it is still being assessed, the Government and some of its humanitarian partners are currently providing assistance.

Deteriorating conditions in West Imi and Guradamole in Afder zone continue to require attention. In Guradamole, estimated 10-15,000 displaced persons reported to have been affected and are in need of food and water. The previously identified Hartishek refugees/IDP population in Jijiga zone which should have been considered part of the host community is also in need of continued assistance. Critical conditions remain in Gashamo, Degehabur zone, where reportedly a therapeutic feeding center has been opened recently.

Delays in emergency food distributions, particularly in five zones of the region, since the beginning of this year have to a certain extent contributed to the deterioration of conditions in these areas. Food is now being received in some areas, although the cessation of relief for a period of over two months has radically increased wheat prices in the local markets.


[1] The EOS/CSI provides a child survival package twice a year of vitamin A supplementation, de-worming, measles catch-up, nutritional screening of children and referral to supplementary or therapeutic feeding programs (where appropriate).

[2] "Hot Spots" refer to specific areas of the country where a particular humanitarian concern has been identified and agreed by the Government and its humanitarian partners and that require further assessment or urgent action to address the problem.

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