The major belg-dependent areas of SNNP, Oromia, Amhara and Tigray, which have been affected by La Niña-induced poor rainfall, have now started to report growing food and nutritional insecurity. The situation is more pronounced in SNNPR, where poor rainfall in the December 2010 to January 2011 (sapie rains) and February to April 2011 seasons has affected the livelihoods of vulnerable households in central and highland parts of the region, including Sidama, Gedio, Hadiya, Kembata Tembaro, Gurage, Selti, Wolayita and Gamo Gofa zones. A recent OCHA mission to the region observed poor crop production in lowland agro-pastoral areas. Coffee production in the central highland areas is very poor, as is the root crop (potato) production. Root crops normally provide bridging food during the lean season for vulnerable households. Prospects for the belg harvest are also much below average given the delay in planting and small area covered, which will also impact on the meher planting due to the likely overlap in planted area coverage. The rapid decline in food availability in the region has already started to cause increases in malnutrition in some areas, with rising admission rates to Outpatient Therapeutic Programmes (OTPs) and Stabilization Centres (SCs). Zones where increases in malnutrition have been recorded include Hadiya, Kembata Tembaro, Gurage, Wolayita, Sidama, Segen zones (Konso, Derashe, Amaro and Burji Special Woredas) as well as Alaba Special Woreda. The number of woredas participating in the Targeted Supplementary Feeding (TSF) programme has also been reduced, from 37 in 2010 to 24 in 2011, due to lack of funding. The re-targeting process of the Productive Safety Net Programme (PSNP) has delayed cash/food allocations in the region by more than three months.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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