Relief Bulletin: Weekly Humanitarian Highlights in Ethiopia 21 May 2007


Return movements of IDPs from Itang to Akobo woreda and other areas in the west of Gambella Region continue this week. In addition to those recently displaced by the Sudanese Murle incursions, communities displaced by previous conflicts are now among those returning to their places of origin with road transport support provided by regional authorities. Such large movements combined with the onset of the rainy season have increased fears of a potential disease outbreak along transit routes. Already a suspected Acute Watery Diarrhoea (AWD) outbreak has been successfully contained by MSF Switzerland in Burubey. In addition to AWD prevention and preparedness activities, these groups on the move continue to need food and non-food assistance. OCHA is currently considering applications to its Humanitarian Response Fund (HRF) for NFI assistance. In the meantime, Action by Churches Together/Coordination Office (ACT/CO) in Geneva has provided US$ 50,000 to their local implementing partner Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus (EECMY) to address the NFI needs of those affected by the Murle attacks. Meanwhile the Federal Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Agency (DPPA) has allocated one month relief food to 11 woredas based on the recommendations of the verification assessment team that was deployed following the region's request for assistance. In addition, the Regional Disaster Prevention Food Security Bureau (RDPFSB) has requested assistance from both the DPPA and the UN for humanitarian and resettlement assistance for some of the affected population. The UN has expressed concerns regarding security of civilian populations moving into Akobo where previous conflict has occurred. An attempt is being made to bring Lou and Jikany Nuer leaders together for discussion to prevent possible renewal of conflict in Tiergol, Akobo. For more information please contact:, and


According to WFP, the water and pasture situation in parts of Chifra, Dupti and Mille woredas in Zone 1 of Afar is reportedly of concern. Unusual herd migrations to eastern woredas of Amhara Region in search of water and pasture have been observed, which has reportedly increased pressure on scarce resources and in some instances caused conflict between migrants and host communities. Education has also been adversely affected with reports of students dropping out to travel in search of resources with their families and herds. For more information please contact:


This week there were new 484 Acute Watery Diarrhoea (AWD) cases and 3 deaths reported nationwide: Oromiya - 203 cases; SNNPR - 12 cases; Afar - 26 cases; Somali -10 cases and Harari - 233 cases. Reports from the Regional Health Bureau in Somali Region indicate that the situation there is precarious with more than 1,250 cases reported from seven woredas in the first week of May. Cases are primarily being reported from Degehabur (806) and Dolobay (140). In Amhara Region, WHO report that four woredas in Oromiya zone are affected by AWD with 86 cases and 2 deaths reported since the beginning of April. The Zonal Health Office has distributed water treatment chemicals but has a shortage of drugs and medical supplies to adequately respond in affected areas. WHO consultants are currently posted in affected districts of Harari, Dire Dawa and Oromiya regions in order to support woreda health offices efforts to control the disease. Moreover, WHO are supporting the Ethiopian Red Cross Society's (ERCS) community education in Borena zone, Oromiya. For more information contact:


UNHCR plans to strengthen its presence in Somali Regional State with short term deployment of a ten person emergency team to Jijiga and Gode. The team that has been provided by UNHCR Headquarters will assist with the ongoing screening of newly arrived Somali asylum seekers and refugees. In Jijiga, the team will assist with the planned relocation of new Somali refugees from Kebribeyah and Hartisheik camps to a new site at Teferiber. A new UNHCR office will be established in Gode, with six members of the team helping set up the office. Those stationed at Gode will conduct assessments and survey border areas in order to determine the presence of Somali asylum seekers in border areas. For more information contact:


UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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