Focus on Ethiopia - Sep 2008






Focus on Ethiopia is produced by UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), in collaboration with other UN agencies and partner NGOs. Focus on Ethiopia provides a monthly overview of humanitarian trends and activities in Ethiopia, as well as focusing on particular issues of interest. Send comments, suggestions and contributions to


The Government and Humanitarian Partners' issued an updated Humanitarian Requirements Document on 14 October seeking emergency assistance for 6.4 million beneficiaries. The total food and non-food requirement for the estimated beneficiaries has reached US$ 265,666,710. The net food requirement stands at 270,245 MT, amounting to US$ 218 million to addresses needs from September to December 2008. In addition, the Targeted Supplementary Food Programme that assists children and pregnant mothers requires 8,276 MT valued at US$ 7.8 million. The requirement to respond to nonfood needs of identified beneficiaries has also been adjusted to address needs until the end of the year.


The document also clarifies the new the structure of Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MoARD) following the reform. Based on the recommendations of the Business Process Reengineering the Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Agency and the Food Security Bureau have been merged within the MoARD.

Led by a state minister reporting directly to the Deputy Prime Minister, a Disaster Management and Food Security Sector (DMFSS) with two wings of Early Warning and Response Directorate (EWRD) and Food Security Department has been established to reduce disaster risks and improve resilience of food insecure and vulnerable households by putting in place an effective all hazard early warning and response system. In the Regions the coordination mechanisms will be further strengthened at all levels.



The humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate during the month as the dry season, hagaa, extended into October. Critical food shortages water scarcity, high livestock morbidity and increasing prevalence of stress-driven rural-urban migration continue to be reported from most parts of the region. The cumulative effects of the poor performance of consecutive rainy seasons coupled with rising food prices and declining livestock income has put the lives and livelihoods of many people at risk. Approximately 1.9 million people in the region require emergency food assistance.

Rural-urban migration of people in search of food and assistance increased during the month as the food security situation worsened. According to the September report by DPPB/SC-UK areas where the highest movements have been seen so far are parts of Warder, Fik, Dagahbur and Gode zones and some parts of Shinile zone. The dire food security situation is also hugely impacting upon the nutritional status of communities, particularly children and the elderly.

Increasing levels of malnutrition, attributed to a reduction in the number of daily meals along with decline in quality and portion continued to be reported in many areas. According to the September report by DPPB/SC-UK, malnutrition is increasing in deyr receiving zones. Meanwhile, Enhanced Outreach Strategy screening has taken place in 13 woredas and a total of 49,445 beneficiaries have been identified. Prepositioning of TSF food to the main warehouses is now completed.

Relief and safety net food continues to be the main source of cereal supply to help farmers and pastoralists cope with the shortage of food grains in local markets and soaring food prices. A hubs and spokes system is being established by WFP following agreement with Government. A high-level meeting between WFP, the State Minister of the Disaster Management and Food Security Sector (DMFSS) and the Somali Regional President took place on 24 September in Jijiga to firm-up agreements between key stakeholders on the launch and implementation of the new logistics system.

Shortage of water for both human and livestock consumption continues to pose a critical challenge for health and livelihoods. Most water sources have not been replenished due to the failure of gu rains. Water tankering from the existing boreholes is the main source of water for affected communities. The capacity of the boreholes is, however, diminishing due to excessive usage and limited replenishment. Rehabilitation of water sources is also an outstanding priority.


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