Ethiopia Humanitarian Update,February 2002

28 February 2002



DPPC presents assistance requirements for 2002

The DPPC gathered representatives from the humanitarian community in the DPPC conference room to officially launch their "Year 2002 Assistance Requirements and Implementation Strategy" at the end of January 2002. See full article. Also see Relief Food and Logistics section for more on current situation.

Ministry to undertake US$ 8.6 billion water sector development programme
The Ministry of Water Resources has planned to undertake a 15 year water sector development programme (WSDP) with an outlay of over US$ 8.6 billion. The head of the Ethiopian Sector Strategy and Development Programme Coordination Office in the ministry said the stated sum would be secured from the government and donors to be used for hydropower generation, safe drinking water provision, irrigation scheme construction and capacity building.

World Bank commits an additional US$ 500 million to fight HIV/AIDS
On 7 February the World Bank approved an additional US$ 500 million for the second stage of its Multi-Country HIV/AIDS Program for Africa (MAP), bringing the amount of its no-interest HIV/AIDS loan to Africa through this program to US$1 billion in the course of the current financial year.

ADF III to be launched in Addis
The 3rd African Development Forum (ADF III) will take place in Addis from 3 to 8 March 2002 under the theme of "Defining Priorities for Regional Integration". The forum is expected to bring together a wide spectrum of stakeholders, which include representatives of governments, parliaments, civil societies, international organizations and businesses.

Ministry, UNICEF sign cooperation accord
The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MoFED) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) signed a US$ 140.5 million cooperation agreement based on government policies and priorities on 8 January 2002. The cooperation, whose fund is to be made available for the coming five years (2002-2006) will focus on health and nutrition, basic education, water and environmental sanitation, HIV/AIDS, gender and child protection, and capacity building in planning, monitoring and evaluation.

Still a funding shortage as meningitis outbreaks spread further

Since early September 2001, the number of woredas reporting meningitis cases increased from 4 to an alarming 32 by early February just as we enter into the peak meningitis season when the dry weather from late January until May can quickly intensify the spread of the disease. This gradual, yet serious, increase in the number of cases being reported, the low immunization coverage and the high population density in Ethiopia have created the right mix for a potential major meningitis epidemic this year. As of 3 February 2002 a total of 1,332 cases and 185 deaths had been reported from Southern Nations Nationalities Peoples Region (SNNPR) alone and now reports have been received from North Gondar of 38 additional cases. In response, the Federal Ministry of Health (MoH) has reactivated the Taskforce on Epidemic Meningococcal Disease for the current epidemic season comprising professionals from the Government, UN, NGO and donor community. Funding needs were identified in the amount of US$ 2.5 million to complement activities already initiated by the MoH.

Global fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria

The Global Fund, adopted in the Genoa G8 Summit in 2001, is a new financial mechanism to raise urgently needed additional resources and to facilitate the transfer of funds in the fight against AIDS, TB and malaria. The purpose of the Fund is to attract, manage and disburse additional resources through a new public-private partnership that will make a sustainable and significant contribution to the reduction of infections, illness and death, thereby mitigating the impact of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. Highest priority for funding will go to countries in greatest need, in terms of disease burden and potential disease burden and with the least ability to bring financial resources to address the problem.

The first meeting of the Governing Board of the fund, held in January 2002, determined the detailed guidelines for considering proposals on how to apply, who is eligible, what kinds of proposals will be supported and the criteria to be applied. Proposals for funding should be submitted by 10 March 2002 through a country coordination and partnership mechanism that should include broad representation from governments, NGOs, civil society, multilateral and bilateral agencies and the private sector.


Ethiopia and Eritrea UNCT’s to meet

The Ethiopia and Eritrea UN Country Teams (UNCTs) are preparing to meet the third week of March 2002 in Addis Ababa. This will be the fifth meeting of the two UNCTs since 2000. Discussions will focus on how the two UN Country Teams can better collaborate in programming that is mutually beneficial to both host countries.

Ethiopia and Eritrea religious leaders meet

On Friday the 13-15th the Religious Leaders, including the Orthodox, Catholic, Protestant Christians, along with the Muslims of Ethiopia and Eritrea met in their respective capitals. They held press conferences, collective services and met with Government Officials. Their message was reconciliation and peace and the need of the Church to foster this to bring the 'brotherly and sisterly' people together. During the meeting at the UN-ECA attended by religious leaders and the diplomatic community, which numbered around 500, the leaders from all the major religious groups spoke movingly on the need for peace and reconciliation. The religious leaders commented that "this war never needed to happen and could have been resolved through dialogue." They also emphasized the progress that has allowed them to speak out loudly about peace and reconciliation for the first time since the war starts. Finally, the leaders agreed to encourage the governments to re-establish transportation and communication links between the two countries.

11th MCC meeting held in Djibouti

The eleventh meeting of the Military Coordination Commission (MCC) was held in Djibouti, on February 5. Chairman of the meeting, Force Commander of the United Nations Mission for Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE), Major-General Patrick Cammaert, explained that since the last meeting, UNMEE has improved its monitoring of a set of "blind spots" in the TSZ and witnessed a general improvement in working relations with Eritrean liaison officers and local commanders on the ground. UNMEE's freedom of movement around north of the TSZ, which remains unresolved, and localized incidents such as those involving local herdsmen and instances of cattle-theft, were also discussed. According to the mission’s overall assessment, the situation in the TSZ is confirmed calm.

POWs repatriated
An International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) disclosed that fifty Ethiopian prisoners of war (POWs) were repatriated on 15 January and 18 February from Eritrea. Meanwhile, 60 Eritrean POWs released by Ethiopia from the Dedessa camp on 16 February have crossed the Mereb river to Adi-Quala in Eritrea in the presence of the ICRC.The operations took place at a crossing point on the Mereb River between the towns of Rama and Adi Quala under the auspices of ICRC. In total, ICRC has organized the repatriation of 937 Eritrean and 703 Ethiopian POWs, since the peace agreement was signed between Ethiopia and Eritrea in Algiers on 12th of December 2000.


Livestock early warning system workshop

The Ethiopian Agricultural Research Organisation in collaboration with FAO will be holding a workshop on "Livestock Early Warning Systems in the Pastoral Areas of East Africa" from March 5-7 2002 at EARO Headquarters in Addis Ababa. The major objectives of the workshop will be: 1) To keep interested stakeholders abreast of project activities and also refine the technique through experiences gained from the implementation of the project by collaborators in other East Africa countries; 2) to develop in a participatory manner adaptive strategies to bind technology to a practical early warning system for pastoralist areas; and 3) to forge important partnerships and alliances with the national and international organizations operating in the field of livestock early warning systems.


DPPC presents assistance requirements for 2002

In his opening statement, H.E. Commissioner Simon Mechale stressed that the needs presented were jointly set by the Technical Committee based on results of the needs assessment and participatory consultation with partners and therefore, "the issue we have at hand today is not one of convincing partners that there are needs; rather to discuss on how fast and how best to respond to them".

H.E. the Commissioner continued by reviewing 2001, pointing out that the overall food supply increased substantially due to positive rainfall and that the results of the mid-year assessment showed the largest belg harvest in many years despite poor rainfall in pastoral areas in Somali Region and lowland Bale Zone of Oromiya. This resulted in the number of affected population declining from 6.2 million in 2001 to 5.2 million by in 2002, which is slightly lower than the 1995-2001 average of 5.5 million people. The regions with the highest affected populations are Amhara (1,724,800); Oromiya (1,051,400); Tigray (917,200); Somali (894,800); SNNPR (303,300); and Afar (225,400).

Even though the country is experiencing a fairly satisfactory 2001 harvest, they are still anticipating food shortages for 2002. Relief food aid requirements for 2002 are estimated at 557,204 MT. Taking into consideration carryover contributions, the outstanding requirements are 427,215 MT which is hoped to be utilized as much as possible in EGS programs.In addition to EGS programs, the Government’s focus for 2002 will be on the National Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Fund (NDPPF) and the Non-food Contingency Stock as well as to improve pastoral early warning activities.



FAO/WFP special report

The Special Report of the FAO/WFP Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission in November/December 2001, which includes relief requirements based on the results of the DPPC needs assessment teams, was released on 7 February, and can be found on the Web at

The Special Report confirms the overall agricultural performance in 2001 was good due to favourable growing conditions. More specifically, following the favourable secondary belg season rains in April/May, which resulted in an estimated harvest of 450,000 tons of cereals and pulses, most parts of the central highlands received good meher season rains. However, in the southeast the rains started late and ended early and were erratic in between.

Cereal yields declined by about 4 percent compared to the 2000 Zonal agricultural bureaux final post-harvest estimates, mainly due to the reduction in fertiliser use in the main producing zones of Oromiya, Amhara and SNNPR. The Mission forecasts a meher cereal and pulse harvest of 12.33 million tons comprising 1 1.30 million tons of cereals from 9.79 million hectares and 1.03 million tons of pulses from 1.53 million hectares. This is the second largest cereal and pulse harvest since 1995. On the basis of the current meher production and forecast belg harvest in 2002 of 250,000 tons of cereals and pulses, the Mission estimates a total grain import requirement of 379,000 tons in 2002, with an estimated 239,000 tons to be covered by food aid imports.

Generally, prices of all cereal crops in almost all local markets remained depressed in 2001, compared to the previous year, due to the good meher harvest in 2000. This is expected to result in severe financial difficulties for farmers and possible reduction in area planted next season. (Indications during January and February point to a further depression of prices, as expected.)

The report also states that the overall good harvest masks the existence of food deficient communities in most parts of the country due to localized drought, population displacement and limited access/entitlement to available food supplies. In addition, vulnerable people affected by several successive years of drought and those who remain displaced by recent conflicts will depend on food assistance.

New WFP emergency operation under preparation

A new WFP Emergency Operation (EMOP) for one year beginning 1 April 2002 is under preparation for approximately 220,000 tons of the total DPPC needs for 2002. The remainder will need to be met from donations bilaterally to the DPPC or to NGOs. Given the availability of cereals and proven capacities of agencies to procure locally, donors are urged to consider meeting some of the food aid needs from purchases in Ethiopia.

Recent and expected food aid contributions

With a recent contribution of 17,000 tons (15,000 tons cereals and 2,000 tons CSB) and indications of further contributions towards WFP emergency operations in support of drought affected farmers and pastoralists, WFP cereal requirements will be met until mid to late April. Once these pending contributions are confirmed, cereals will be borrowed from the Emergency Food Security Reserve to enable immediate distributions to take place. Repayments will be effected through international and local purchase.

There are also indications of a contribution towards WFP's EMOP 6080.01 in support of internally displaced people in Tigray Region. While this would enable WFP to meet cereal requirements for a caseload of approximately 75,000 people over the coming months, vegetable oil has not been available since November, and there are insufficient stocks of pulses for March distributions. At a particularly sensitive time in Tigray Region, with the results of the Boundary Commission awaited, the provision of a timely and complete food basket has become even more imperative. With a shortfall of almost 1,000 tons pulses and 1,000 tons vegetable oil to year end, donor contributions, in cash or in kind, would make a significant contribution towards meeting the food requirements of conflict affected people with no alternative means of supporting themselves. A total of 17,000 tons of relief food aid are needed for these IDPs in 2002.

Somali region: southern areas of on-going drought

The situation in southern woredas in Afder and Liben zones is of increasing concern as conditions deteriorate with the long Jilaal dry season, following the very poor deyr rains in these areas in October/November. February and March represent the most difficult time of the year for pastoralists/agro-pastoralists in this area, when water and pasture resources are distant and energy requirements higher, milk production is low and household costs are high. While the gu rains can be expected any time between March and May, for the past two years they did not arrive in the southern part of Somali region until early May.

A recent Save the Children US assessment in late January confirmed the seriousness of food supply, water and pasture conditions in the area. The emergency needs assessment covered a total of eight districts, namely Gode, Adadele, Denan (in Gode zone) Chereti, Hargelle, Bare and Dollo Bay (in Afder Zone) and Dollo Ado (in Liben zone) and was conducted from January 20-30, 2002.

Whereas the food security situation over the entire Gode, Afder Zones and Dollo Ado in Liben Zone is considered below normal, Bare, pocket areas in Chereti and Hargelle, and most parts of Dollo Ado and Dollo Bay are likely to be the worst affected in the coming months. Food security depends primarily on livestock in this area.

The SC-US report states that reduced pasture and water scarcity has negatively affected the physical body weight of livestock with a resultant reduction in their productivity and marketability. Condition of animals has not improved in most parts of the region and continued deterioration of cattle is reported in Bare, parts of Chereti and Hargelle, Dollo Bay and Dollo Ado. The continued absence of animals that had previously migrated out of the region combined with low production of the remaining animals contributes to a scarcity of milk, which is the main source of protein particularly for young children. All that coupled with the negative impact of livestock ban [imposed on livestock imports from the Horn by Saudi Arabia] has compromised the welfare of poor pastoralists. Consequently, there are reports indicating a steady increase in movements of people in the vicinity of district towns in Denan, Adadele, Hargelle, Chereti, Bare, Dollo Bay and Dollo Ado with the hope of benefiting from the ongoing food interventions in these districts.

Pasture shortages triggered movement of livestock outside the traditional grazing areas 3-4 months ago. WFP and other reports speak of livestock populations in the area being concentrated in the west and the north of Filtu woreda and parts of northern and southern of Moyale woreda, for better pasture and water. An influx of new families faced with severe vulnerability have emerged in Denan, Adadele, Hargelle, Chereti, Bare, Dollo Bay and Dollo Ado as food stocks from last years harvest, kin networks and traditional coping mechanisms are coming under tremendous strain.

Some food aid was already distributed in these zones in January; however, DPPC is stepping up efforts to ensure that food aid available for Somali region will continue targeting these hard hit areas.

A recent mission to Denan in Gode zone by ECHO and SC-US to check the water situation found that whilst water is in short-supply, the situation is not yet critical, and a number of options exist that should preclude the need for water-tankering, assuming that the gu rains arrive more or less on schedule. Within Denan town, the last 2 months have seen a remarkable proliferation of privately dug traditional shallow-wells in the main flood/river-bed, just 500 m from the camp where the drought displaced have settled. More than 100 of such wells have been dug, with others in the process of being excavated. Individual households or groups of households secure their own domestic requirements this way and then sell any surplus. Food distributions took place in Denan in mid-January.

Other zones in Somali region

Elsewhere in Somali region, the general food security situation in Shinille, Jijiga, Warder, Degehabour and Fik zones remains normal, though there are reports of a deteriorating situation in Dehun and Garbo in Fik zone. The situation of water and pasture is reported to be deteriorating in some of the eastern parts of the region including Harshin (Jijiga zone), Gashamo (Degehabour zone), as well as Bermil and Dehun woredas in Fik zone, where water is a chronic problem.

In Fafen in Jijiga zone, a recent MCDO/UNICEF nutrition survey has shown a decline in nutritional status among children assisted through the take-home supplementary food programme for drought-displaced families with young children run by MCDO with food from WFP/DPPC. A major factor appears to be the lack of regular general distributions in the area, as there was a gap in distributions between October and December, as in other parts of the region. Thus the supplementary ration meant for the malnourished child is shared with the entire family, which has no other food source. For this reason, the length of stay of the beneficiary in the supplementary feeding center (SCF) is prolonged indefinitely, the numbers of children in the SFC and therapeutic feeding centre (located in Hartisheik) are slowly increasing, and malnutrition rates continue to increase.

Other parts of the country

North Gondar, South Gondar, East Hararghe, West Hararghe and Borena zones continue to be under close monitoring.

In early February in Tigray, reports were received from officials of unusual outmigration from Kolla Tembien, Ader Naedet and Werie Leke woredas in central Tigray zone, with the majority of people moving towards western Tigray, where there are labour possibilities on large commercial farms. Other indications of stress in these woredas included sale of agricultural implements and increasing school dropouts. However, with the allocation of food assistance to these areas from a recent contribution to WFP, as well as from other resources available to DPPC, the situation is not expected to deteriorate. It should be recalled that Tigray Region accounts for almost one quarter of the 2002 food assistance requirements in Ethiopia.


Climate outlook forum for the Greater Horn of Africa

The 9th Climate Outlook Forum for the Greater Horn of Africa was held in Eldoret, Kenya from the 18 to 21 February 2002 by the Drought Monitoring Centre, Nairobi. Consensus guidance was formulated for the March to May 2002 rainfall season for 10 countries in the Eastern Africa sub region.

According to the consensus the outlook for Ethiopia for the period March to May is:

1. Increased likelihood of near to above normal rainfall over central and eastern parts of the country.

2. Increased likelihood of near to below normal rainfall over western parts of the country.

The outlook is expected to have a positive impact in the belg producing parts of the country. Most importantly, it is expected to improve the availability of pasture and water in the pastoral areas of Somali region and the lowlands of Bale and Borena zones.

Pastoralist day celebrations

The Ethiopian Pastoralist Day, 25 January 2002, has been celebrated for the fourth time at a national level jointly sponsored by the Afar Regional State and the Ethiopian Pastoralist Forum. A ceremony with lively and colorful dances and a show, as well as a discussion panel took place at Dubti in Afar. Pastoralist Day gave the opportunity to Somali, Borana and southern Ethiopians to meet and share experiences and difficulties.

Prosopis Juliflora damages grazing land
Prosopis Juliflora, a weed plant which adversely affects animal health when eaten, has reportedly covered a quarter of the grazing and farmland of zone three in Afar Regional State.The plant which is also known by the name "mesquite" covers the meadow and farmland by its long stretching branches with thorns on its leaves. According to the zonal Wild Life and forestry protection expert at the Animal and Agricultural Development Department, pastoralist grazing lands have decreased significantly since the dangerous weed found its way into the area 10 years ago.

Soil and water conservation activities underway
Residents of South and North Gonder zones have been engaged in soil and water conservation activities in their respective areas since begining of February. More than 120,000 people are involved in the conservation activities which include the building of terraces on 110,000 hectares of land, the construction of 360 km road and the development of 200 springs by the residents organized into numerous development teams. Over 400 MT of soil is normally washed away every year from each zone and these activities are designed to reduce erosion.

Animal census begins

A ten-day survey being conducted by experts from the Ethiopian Central Statistics Authority (CSA) was begun on 9 February and entails travel to some of the remotest parts of Ethiopia to record livestock numbers. Results of the census will enable accurate forecasting for economic planning and could encourage investment as well as increase revenue. The census will take ten months to complete and will include the monitoring of levels of crops that are consumed and sold, land utilization and fertilizer use. Nomadic groups will be targeted and will provide the first clear picture of livestock numbers in those areas. The census will use 13,515 counters, 2,400 supervisors of the census and 300 statistical experts compiling information.


The current situation of vulnerable population segments affected by the border conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray Region

Large population segments of Tigray suffered from the border conflict with Eritrea and from the 1999 and 2000 drought. Humanitarian assistance was provided to these affected populations during the last three years to ease their livelihood burden. Furthermore, large new humanitarian assistance programmes have been initiated and launched, notably the World Bank-financed Emergency Recovery Programme (ERP) to help rehabilitate livelihoods of affected families and to reconstruct destroyed infrastructure such as houses, bridges and roads. The UN-Emergencies Unit for Ethiopia conducted a field mission (21 to 30 January) to assess aspects of the post-war humanitarian situation in selected areas of Tigray Region, particularly the current situation of various affected populations such as formerly displaced persons, people who have returned from Eritrea and other particular vulnerable population segments.

Most of the formerly Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from the conflict with Eritrea returned home with some exceptions, essentially those who lived in contested areas immediately along the border and in areas that have not yet been de-mined. ERP assistance started in 12 of the 47 identified kebeles where assistance is needed. The reconstruction and repair of damaged houses started in 'Marta' kebele of Gulo Meheda Woreda in Eastern Tigray Zone near the destroyed town of Zala Ambessa. Very few of those formerly displaced opted for a new livelihood in urban areas performing off-farm activities such as petty trade and similar activities.

Since the start of the conflict in 1998, many thousands of people returned from Eritrea, where they had lost their jobs due to the conflict. Approximately 70,000 are of families originally from Tigray and many of them are concentrated in Adigrat town and its vicinity (~ 37,000). The food and cash assistance these people initially received upon their return to Ethiopia as reintegration assistance for a period of one year, was in most cases not sufficient with the result that many need further food and cash assistance and also job training and schooling opportunities. The high number of people that returned from Eritrea was unexpected and somewhat surprised the Tigrian authorities. Consequently, and to better cope with this vulnerable population segment, the Regional Government decided to establish a Regional Rehabilitation Bureau under the Regional President's Office. The Rehabilitation Bureau is financially assisted by the ERP.

Assistance to families of diseased civilians and militia was one of the priorities of the ERP. From the funds that are being disbursed to families of the more than 30,000 civilians and militias that lost their lives, 75% of the requested funds for Tigray (ETH Birr 98 million) have already been disbursed and the remaining 25% will be distributed in the coming months.

The demobilization and reintegration programme for war veterans that is part of the World Bank financed ERP is well under way. Of the total of 160,000 soldiers that were to be demobilised under this programme, already 140,000 have gone back to their families benefiting from a demobilisation package consisting of a one time cash and check disbursements as well as a pension according to years of service (Seven Days Update, 4 February 2002).

Currently there exists only one refugee camp in Tigray Region, near Shiraro town in the Western Zone, consisting of approximately 4,000 people of the ‘Kunama’ agro-pastoralist tribe of Eritrean origin. These people started to seek refuge in April 2000. Presently the governmental ARRA (Administration for Refugees and Returnees Affairs) and UNHCR administer the camp. IRC (International Refugee Committee) and MSF-Holland provide technical assistance. The camp is likely to be relocated in the near future west of Shiraro in a place called ‘Grat-Reda’. Most of the camp dwellers are women, children and elderly people.

In general, market and economic conditions in Tigray Region remain bleak for most of those who used to trade agricultural and other goods across the border to Eritrea. Trade between the two countries is not likely to gain momentum in the near future. Hence, the income gap of lost petty businesses and livestock trade that used to be major income sources for many poor Tigrian households, will remain one of the many development challenges that need to be addressed in the household economy sector.


The Konama are one of the indigenous tribes inhabiting the areas around the Setit and Gash river basin, which extends up to and along the Eritrean and Sudanese border in Eritrea and the adjacent districts of Humera and Adi Abo in the Tigray National Regional State in North-western Ethiopia. The Kunama people are nominally divided into four main groups: Kunama Aimasa, living in the western part of the provincial capital town of Barentu; Kunama Barka, living along the river Gash in the south-eastem part of Barentu; Kunama Marda, residing in the north-eastern part of Barentu; and Kunama Tika, living along the river Gash in the southern part of Barentu.

Though there are different theories as to the origin of the Kunama, some say that they came from the historical town of Axum, which in the Kunama language translates to "the fifth small hill." Others say that the Kunama originated in the Nile River basin. According to linguistic classifications, the Kunama language is a distinct category within the West Nilotic group, and is related to languages in Sudan, Chad and Ethiopia.

Movement of Kunama refugees
The refugees first crossed into Ethiopia soon after the outbreak of the war in May 1998. The fighting continued for two years and resulted in the destruction of Berantu, the capital of Kunama located in Eritrea. Upon their arrival to Ethiopia, the Ethiopian government authorities and the local communities at large received and extended their assistance through a mutual sharing of available but limited resources in order to meet their survival needs. The Kunama refugees numbered 4,164 as of 30 November 2001.

The Kunama refugees are sheltered in a makeshift camp at a place called Wa’ala Nhibi, about 13 km North of Sheraro town in the western zone of the Tigray National Regional State. The camp dwellers are a mix of herders, cultivators, craftspeople and urban dwellers. There is also a small group of formally educated persons. In view of potential insecurity at the site and expressed concerns of the regional authorities, a new alternative and much more secured site has been allocated by the authorities. The new site is named Grat Reda and is located at 10 km Southeast of Sheraro town and 85 km away from the Ethio-Eritrean border. UNHCR, ARRA and the International Rescue Committee (IRC) are currently working on preparatory activities jointly drawn in the form of an action plan leading towards the transfer/relocation of the refugees to the new site.

Amongst the total Kunama refugees, some 114 Kunama refugees of Nigerian origin (Hausa) were also received. The refugees responded positively towards voluntary repatriation and expressed their willingness through registration. Subsequently, a tri-partite Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was concluded on 20 December 2001 between ARRA, the Nigerian authorities and UNHCR that provided the base for the voluntary repatriation. Accordingly, the planning of the repatriation operation was jointly worked out between ARRA, IOM, the Nigerian Embassy and UNHCR; and the repatriation was successfully completed on 8 January 2002.

Kunama women in Wa’ala Nhibi refugee camp, western zone of the Tigray (2002)

In view of the very critical situation the refugees found themselves in, UNHCR and ARRA undertook fact-finding missions and carried out needs assessments together with donor representatives to raise awareness and funds to provide the refugees with their basic needs. Donations were made by the UN Military Observers Mission for Ethiopia and Eritrea and the US Program for Refugees and Migration (PRM) through IRC.

The major objective of UNHCR assistance is the provision of protection and multi sector material assistance in the form of care and maintenance in the absence of a viable option for local integration/settlement pending a durable solution, which may take years to implement.

The following agencies, except for the Bureau of Agriculture, are currently engaged in the implementation of the following activities:

ARRA: ARRA provides security in and around the camp for refugees and the staff of UNHCR and its implementing partners, camp management, co-ordination, food and non-food distribution.

IRC: IRC handles water system development, water distribution and management, sanitation, health care services, community development, social mobilisation, primary and adult education in the areas of numeracy/literacy education and skills training in energy saving stoves production.

Bureau of Agriculture: The Tigray National Regional State Bureau of Agriculture was responsible for environmental awareness, protection, rehabilitation, establishment and management of a nursery site for tree seedlings and the production of energy saving stoves at the new site.

UNHCR: UNHCR Ethiopia is responsible for ensuring that the human rights of the refugees are not violated and the Government of Ethiopia practices and implements the protection of refugees according to internationally accepted standards. UNHCR, in collaboration with ARRA, will manage the relocation of the refugees to the new site at Grat Reda. UNHCR also undertakes the local procurement of jerry cans and clothes for female refugees. UNHCR Geneva provides assistance for the international procurement of project vehicles, motorcycles, blankets, laundry soap and plastic tarpaulins.

WFP: WFP provides basic and supplementary food items, handling, loading/offloading, storage and other related costs. WFP will also endeavour to provide food resources for implementation of jointly planned food-for-work activities in and around refugee camps.