Ethiopia

Weekly humanitarian highlights in Ethiopia, 27 Oct 2008

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HUMANITARIAN CONCERNS

The latest FEWSNET Food Security Alert indicates that the food security prospects for parts of southeastern and northern Ethiopia will deteriorate according to the National Meteorology Agency's October to January forecasts. The report notes that present trends are indicative of below-normal rains in the pastoral areas in the coming months. Continued dry conditions are expected in already food insecure pastoral and agro-pastoral populations of Somali, lowlands of Oromiya, southeastern parts of SNNP and northern Afar Regions. For more information contact: nbiru@fews.net.

Continued water shortages

Serious water shortages continue to be reported in parts of Afar, Tigray and lowlands of Oromiya Regions affecting crops and livestock. Hotspot areas include Elidar, Bidu and Erebti in Afar; Raya Azebo and Tanqua Abergelle in Tigray and; Bale and Borena in Oromiya Regions. Given limited access to potable water, human health is potentially threatened by water-borne diseases from drinking unsafe water, UNICEF notes. Shortage and high prices of fuel in addition to frequent breakdown of boreholes are seriously hampering water supplies, particularly in Somali Region. For more information contact: kmcdonald@unicef.org

Food

As food insecurity persists in some parts of the country, resources to support affected beneficiaries remain short. Total shortfalls for the period October to December 2008 are 93,386 MT amounting US$ 82 million. According to WFP, foreseen shortfalls for the first quarter of 2009 for relief, Targeted Supplementary Food (TSF) and PSNP amount 341,000 MT valued at US$ 295 million. Resource shortfalls for the second quarter of 2009 are estimated to be 178,000 MT worth US$ 154 million. Meanwhile, pipelines for relief beneficiaries remain broken; while reduced rations will continue until December 2008. For more information contact: wfp.addisababa@wfp.org.

Nutrition

The Emergency Nutrition Coordination Unit (ENCU) indicates that low reporting rate from regions with exceptions of SNNP is impeding trend analysis on new admissions. ENCU in collaboration with the Ministry of Health (MoH) is working with the regions to address the issue. The report further highlights that rapid nutrition assessments will be conducted in identified hotspot woredas of Amhara and Tigray Regions at the end of October. Assessments will cover Mekdela and Goba woredas in Amhara and Alamata and Samre Sharti woredas in Tigray. Meanwhile, ENCU and humanitarian partners are endeavoring to cover all hotspot woredas with Therapeutic Feeding and Targeted Supplementary Feeding Programme (TFP/TSFP) interventions. For more information contact: orlao@dppc.gov.et

HEALTH UPDATE

Acute Watery Diarrhea (AWD) continues to spread to new areas. WHO reports that five new woredas from Amhara and SNNP regions have reported cases during the week. Currently 18 woredas in four regions are reporting active cases: eight in Amhara, three in Oromiya, two in SNNP and five in Tigray. Hotspot woredas include Awabel in East Gojjam zone and Tegede in North Gondar zone of Amhara; Kefta Humera in Tigray and Zuay Dugda woreda in Oromiya Regions. Delay and incompleteness of case reporting continue to hinder case management. WHO has allocated a total of US$ 44,560 to Amhara Regional Health Bureau to strengthen surveillance and case investigation of AWD. In addition, to strengthen the capacity of the region, a total of 250 health workers will be trained on management of Case Treatment Centers (CTCs) and AWD preparedness and response. In Somali Region, the Regional Health Bureau with technical assistance from UNICEF has conducted training for 63 participants in Awberre woreda of Jijiga zone focusing on AWD prevention and containment and water treatment.

In the context of ongoing response to polio outbreak in Gambella Region, the Federal Ministry of Health in collaboration with Regional Health Bureaus and partners conducted first round polio vaccination campaign in Gambella, Benishangul Gumuz, six zones in Oromiya and four zones in SNNP regions during 17-20 October. Preparations are underway to conduct a second round polio vaccination campaign in the same areas during 14-17 November. The campaigns target to address approximately 2.1 million children under five in the four regions. WHO will provide the operational costs estimated at US$ 3.2 million and UNICEF will cover US$ 500,000 required for vaccines. For more information contact: who-wro@et.afro.who.int & kmcdonald@unicef.org.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.