UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA - AFRICAN STUDIES CENTER
Insufficient Management of Humanitarian Relief in Somali Region
  7 August 2000

News and Developments


Transport Committee was Dissolved

According to Government officials, the National Transport Coordination Committee (NTCC) was dissolved on the 3rd of August. Government officials explained that the NTCC was needed to mobilize the national fleet to meet importation, delivery, distribution and pre-position requirements was no longer necessary now that the situation had stabilized.

DPPC Approves Duty Free Importation

of Field Vehicles for NGO Relief Operations

The Government of Ethiopia has approved the duty free importation of field vehicles for those NGOs involved in DPPC relief programmes. The DPPC is now ready to receive requests for duty free clearance of field vehicles and will accept submissions until 31 December 2000.

Security Council Passes Resolution for Military Observers

The Security Council voted unanimously on 31 July 2000 to pass a resolution to establish a United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea until 31 January 2001, consisting of up to 100 military observers and the necessary civilian support staff in anticipation of a peacekeeping operation subject to future Council authorization.

United Nations to Launch Appeal for the Internally Displaced Persons

The United Nations Country Team is scheduled to launch an official United Nations Appeal for the Rehabilitation and Recovery Programmes for the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in August. This appeal will cover the period from September until end January 2001 and will address the immediate needs in terms of both care and maintenance, recovery and rehabilitation of the more than 300,000 IDPs in the Tigray region and the more than 30,000 IDPs in the Afar region returning to their places of origin. Following the UN Inter-Agency Assessment to the Tigray region, initial estimates by UN agencies of priority interventions include the following:

UN Peacekeeping Liaison Officers Arrive

As a follow-up to the recent UN Reconnaissance Mission to Ethiopia and Eritrea, the UN Secretary-General deployed 10 United Nations and OAU Military Officers to each capital. The first to arrive in the region on 24 July 2000 were Colonel Jukka Pollanen, to be Head of the UN Peacekeeping Military Liaison Officers in Addis Ababa, and Colonel Frederik Hoogeland, to be Head of the UN Peacekeeping Military Liaison Officers in Asmara.

Government/UN Donor Coordination Mechanism Improved

In order to improve coordination on the response to the drought, a regular bi-weekly meeting was started, chaired by the DPPC Commissioner with participants from the Government and UN agencies. The first meeting, held on 3 August, highlighted issues on the situation in Shinille, donor response to the June Appeal, the Senafe region, and preparation for the IDP Appeal. The next meeting will take place on 17 August.

Meningococcal Meningitis Outbreak in Addis Ababa

According to WHO, by mid July, 277 cases and 8 deaths from Meningococcal Meningitis were reported in Addis Ababa. The Ministry of Health (MOH) has alerted the Regional Health Bureau of Addis Ababa to strengthen their surveillance and has intensified their monitoring efforts through a coordinating committee composed of select senior staff from MOH, Addis Ababa Regional Health Bureau and local physicians. WHO is also giving technical support to the Minister of Health. There are no cases being reported currently from the other regions of the country. Although cases are rising, the death rate is declining as all hospitals are on alert for early detection and vaccinations are available to fight against this particular strain of Meningitis.

Training in Field Epidemiology for Drought Affected Zones

WHO with the Embassy of Israel conducted a nine-day training workshop in Field Epidemiology for twenty-five regional and zonal disease control focal persons. The participants were mainly selected from drought affected zones: Amhara, Oromiya, and Somali States. Three Israeli professors supported by WHO and Minster of Health experts conducted the training. The main topics discussed were disease control, Malaria, Meningitis, diarrhea disease control and surveillance.

Joint Meeting of the United Nations Country Teamís of Eritrea and Ethiopia

The third joint meeting of the United Nations Country Teamís (UNCTís) of Eritrea and Ethiopia was held in Nairobi from 23 to 24 July 2000. Issues highlighted included programme overviews by agency from both Eritrea and Ethiopia, previously issued and projected United Nations Appeals, the upcoming peacekeeping mission and civilians affected by the conflict. In addition to the UNCT meeting, on 24 and 25 July, a regional coordination meeting was held to address regional security and information sharing issues.

High Level Task Force on Food Security in the Horn of Africa

In connection with the UN Task Force formed by the UN Secretary General in April this year, two teams have been fielded to consult on long-term strategy for alleviating the drought challenges facing the countries in the Horn of Africa. Outcomes of discussions between the teams will be presented on 7-8 August in the ECA Conference Center. The countries visited are Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda.

Weather Report

(By TafessE Olkeba, meteorologist for USAID)

Climatically, the end of July and the beginning August is the period during which the meher season (June-September) rains approach their peak in all meher growing areas of the country. The period is also the time when excess waters produce floods in many areas of the country. After the first week of August, the amount and spatial distribution of the season's rains should normally start to decease.

During the current meher season, the rainfall amount is quite low and the temporal and spatial distributions are irregular. These irregularities began back in the last season when the rains had completely failed in two of the three months of the belg season. Close to the end of the belg season, from mid April to mid May, there were adequate rains over most parts of the country that helped farmers to plant the long cycle crops. The deficiency of the rains was significant particularly over the eastern half of the country, east of the central escarpment. The climatic condition since the beginning of the season in March has made the year, the lowest rainfall year in recent times.

The reason for continued scarcity of the rains in these parts of the country is probably due to the limited supply of moisture from the Indian Ocean to the Horn of Africa. The Indian Ocean Sea Surface Temperature has continuously been warm, preventing a high-pressure system from developing, limiting on-shore flow of moisture to the eastern part of Ethiopia.

Impact of the Deficient Rains

Rainfall deficiency during the current growing season has benefited some parts of the country and negatively affected other parts. The central highlands that normally suffer from water logging during the months of July and August are expected to have less saturation problems and crop production there is expected to be enhanced. On the other hand, the marginal areas between the pastoral and agricultural areas are expected to be negatively affected as the result of moisture shortage. Accordingly, the central highlands of the country including most parts Amhara Region, Western Tigray, Northern Oromiya Region and eastern highlands of Oromiya region are expected to benefit from the low rainfall condition. On the other hand, the lowlands of East and West Hararghe, Bale and the crop land of Borena, East Shewa, and most of the Eastern lowlands of Amhara Region are expected to be negatively affected by the deficiency of the rainfall.

A year of low rainfall is usually a lean year in pastoral as well as in marginal areas. This event has been observed following the failure or scarcity of rains in Borena Zone and Somali Region. Marginal areas between the pastoral and regular crop dependent areas, whose mainstay is agro-pastoral are the other group of society that are usually hard hit during such years of low rainfall.

Operational Activities

Measles/Vitamin A Campaign

The UNICEF-supported measles/vitamin A campaign in drought-affected areas is continuing. In parts of Somali region, the campaign was delayed by the election campaign but it began 2 August in Gode, where 1,250 children were vaccinated on the first day, out of a target of 4,800 children. The campaign targets all children under five years of age and/or children under 100 cm in height.

Preliminary results are coming in from other regions. In Bale and Borena zones (Oromiya), for example, the geographical coverage was 100%, meaning that all target weredas were reached, according to the zonal health departments. The antigen coverage in both zones is estimated at 95% of the target child population. In addition to zonal and local authorities, local and international NGOs provided logistical support. In Bale, these were NCA (Meda Wolabu wereda), Agri Service Ethiopia (Gololcha and Gassera weredas); LWF (Ghinir wereda); CRS (Goba and Robe weredas) and Water Aid (Sinana wereda). In Borena, they included SCF-USA (Liben wereda); GTZ (Taltelle wereda); GOAL -Ethiopia (Yabello and Taltelle wereda, and also provided health professionals); Catholic Mission (Uraga and Bore weredas); Mekane Yessus (Uraga wereda); and MSF Holland (Arero wereda).

Water Survey in Borena

A UNICEF water consultant has completed a three-week survey of existing water points in Borena and South Omo. The consultant, a hydrogeologist, surveyed 59 water points in Borena (36 shallow wells, 17 dug wells, 5 ponds and 3 newly drilled sites) and found that five were not functioning at all. UNICEF had rehabilitated twelve of the functioning points. In South Omo, 58 points were surveyed (35 shallow wells, 16 dug wells and 6 ponds). Although these 58 water points serve a total of 79,000 people, 20 of them were not functioning, including all 6 ponds. 20 of those that were functioning were rehabilitated by UNICEF. The study found that boreholes were not working because of pump failure brought on by overuse (they are often the only source of water in a given area) or a drop on static water levels caused by the drought. The drought has worsened already poor water coverage in these zones. In Salamango wereda (South Omo), for example, there are only two water points for almost 16,000 people. UNICEF will use the results of the study to plan future new interventions and to monitor and follow-up the condition of existing water points.

A Joint IOM/WFP Training Workshop in Jigjiga

IOM and WFP will be conducting a training workshop in Jigjiga from 9 to 11 August 2000. The training event is the first stage of a joint IOM/WFP project on migration and food security that seeks to understand migration patterns and their effects on food security. The workshop will involve most of the NGOs and agencies working in Somali region.

The objectives of the training workshops are as follows:

  1. To discuss issues related to population movements and food security.
  2. To review and pretest the questionnaire designed by IOM/WFP on population movement and food security.
  3. To share with participants issues related to monitoring, interview techniques and other data collection techniques
The questionnaire is designed to collect information that will enable analysis of the relationships between migration, food security, conflict and trade. After the pre-testing of the questionnaire in Somali region of Ethiopia, the study will be extended to Somali, Kenya, and Djibouti the three horn of Africa countries which share substantial cross-border migration with Ethiopia.

Relief Food Pledges and Logistics

WFP Update

Following the approval of the budget revision for WFPís EMOP 6218 (204,582 MT cereal, 10,741 MT blended food, 6,100 MT vegetable oil, 32,473 MT pulses) on 24 July 2000, a USA pledge of 175,000 MT cereals and 4,100 MT vegetable oil was received.

The USA has confirmed a pledge of 5,000 MT cereals and 5,000 MT CSB towards WFPís EMOP 6080.01 for the internally displaced due to the border conflict, which will help to ensure distributions take place through September. However, as WFP has already commenced distributions to an additional 15,501 displaced in Western Tigray and is in the process of sending cereals to help to meet requirements in transit camps in Adwa, additional pledges are urgently required for this operation.

In-country Stocks

The Ethiopian Emergency Food Security Reserve (EFSR) stocks as at 31 July were 153,615 MT, of which 65,999 were under withdrawal, leaving uncommitted stocks of 87,616 MT. Repayments to the EFSR of over 85,000 MT scheduled for July arrived as planned, of which 30,000 MT was from USDA and 25,378 MT from WFP. Almost 40,000 MT is scheduled to be repaid in August from the EU (12,132 MT) and WFP (27,218 MT).

Logistics

Following a visit by Ms Judith Lewis, Representative Country Director, and Mr Amer Daoudi, Head, Logistics Unit, WFP Ethiopia, to Djibouti Port, the reported that the upgrading operation of the port is continuing with minimal disruption to port activities and assurances were received from MIDROC and the new port management that this will continue to be the case.

During the period 1 July to 1 August WFP dispatched 103,000 MT of WFP food from Djibouti Port, at a daily average of 3,400 MT.

24 July saw the commencement of helicopter missions to assess the security situation in Fik and Degahabur zones of Somali Region, while also enabling WFP monitors to assess the food security situation.

Refugees

A joint WFP/UNHCR/ARRA (Agency for Refugee and Returnee Affairs) nutrition survey to review the blanket feeding programme was conducted in July in two Western Sudanese and five Eastern Somali refugee camps. Preliminary analysis indicates that the health status has improved in most camps when compared with November 1999 results. This is attributed to the introduction of the blanket feeding programme for under fives and pregnant / lactating women. However, one camp in the West showed deterioration in nutrition status, which may be due to women looking elsewhere for work and therefore, not having time to prepare food. In the East, deterioration was also revealed in two camps, Aisha and Camaboker. As these camps are in the drought stricken Somali region, it was reported that the refugees were sharing rations with relatives in need of assistance. Therefore, with continuing food distributions taking place to those affected by drought, as well on going blanket feeding to the most vulnerable in the refugee camps, it is expected that this situation will improve over the coming months.

Afar Region

The failure of two short rainy seasons, followed by a delay in the commencement of the long rainy season by at least 3 weeks, has led to concerns about the deteriorating situation in the primarily pastoral region of Afar. There are reports of cattle deaths due to a shortage of water and pasture and of a decrease in drinking water available for humans. WFP is working closely with DPPC to monitor the situation and ensure that food distributions to the areas most in need take place.

Focus on Welayita

This year Welayita, located in the North Omo Zone of the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoplesí Region (SNNPR) is facing a serious food shortage as a result of the drought. It is well known for its fertility and population pressure - a combination that deceives people who are not familiar with the area. During times of food stress, the term "green famine" is often used to describe the situation. The belg and the meher are the two crop seasons in Welayita, with the belg in some areas accounting for more than 60-70% of annual production. Currently, Welayita is suffering from delayed and an uneven distribution of belg rains and an almost complete failure of the current harvest, chronic malnutrition, and livestock diseases. Many active NGOs in the Welayita area are focusing on improving the nutritional status of the population, as malnutrition is an immediate effect of the drought and short-term results can be achieved from quick interventions. In a new departure, WFP/DPPC/NGO tripartite agreements are being finalized with OXFAM and Concern to enable the distribution of supplementary food to children under the age of five, pregnant women, and lactating women in Welayita. These NGOs have also addressed the chronic food security problem and have highlighted the need for longer-term solutions. The work of six NGOs operational activities in Welayita is found below.

After Three Months in Demot Woyde Concern Sees Improvement in Nutritional Status

Concern first began activities in Welayita during the famine of 1984 and was operational up until 1998. Earlier this year at the request of regional authorities, Concern again began emergency assessments to identify needs arising from the current drought. To collect the necessary data, Concern began in April 2000 with a nutritional survey in Demot Woyde wereda.

Findings from this initial survey indicated that there was a global malnutrition rate of 25.6% in the under five population surveyed, acute severe malnutrition rate of 4.3%, extremely low immunization coverage, poor nutrition status of mothers and serious food insecurity with over 60% of survey respondents eating one meal of enset, a nutritionally poor food staple.

As a result of this nutritional survey, Concern began therapeutic feeding to treat severe malnutrition and a distribution of supplementary food targeted at moderately malnourished children and pregnant and lactating women. Beneficiaries currently amount to 5,000 but are still increasing. Additional interventions for Concern included the distribution of general food to some 55,000 people, as well as seed distribution.

As of the end-July, Concern undertook a second nutritional survey to reassess the nutrition status. Initial results from this survey indicate that the global malnutrition rate has decreased to 6.4%, but that food security is still fragile. Concern plans to continue with general food distribution for the next few months until the next harvest and then again reassess the needs in Demot Woyde to determine their interventions.

MSF-Switzerland Feeding Programmes in Damot Gale

In response to alarming information about high rates of malnutrition that Concern provided, MSF- CH (Medecins sans frontiere- Switzerland) did a rapid Mid-Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC) assessment of the kebeles along the border between Damot Woyde and Damot Gale in June 2000. Because there were no other NGOs working at Damot Gale at the time, MSF-CH visited three of the eight kebeles (Wogera, Ade Ofa and Hareto Kontola) and found a global (total) malnutrition rate of 35.3% among the children under the age of five. The findings can be categorized as follows:

As a follow-up to the assessment, on 20July a three-month nutritional program was launched incorporating 15 of the most affected kebeles of the wereda, making a "belt" along the border with Damot Woyde wereda. There are currently three supplemental feeding programmes, and two therapeutic centers.

The emergency programme was started on the appeal of the Wereda Administration and Health Office, who have overextended their capacity to respond to large number of malnourished children in a targeted supplementary feeding. MSF-CH is also working towards improving early warning system and surveillance in treatment units.

MSF-CH has good working relationship with the Minister of Health and the kebeles, and aims at reaching at least 70% of the crude targeted population consisting of under-five years children, severely malnourished children, moderately malnourished children, lactating and pregnant women, and families of malnourished children. Because of the power shortages that reduced production capacity of Famix, the organization had to borrow 50 MT from Concern to start the program. The situation has now improved.

OXFAM-GB Emergency Relief Project for the Drought Affected in Boloso Sorie Wereda

Following an initial assessment, OXFAM-GB conducted a nutritional anthropometrics survey and public health assessment in June. The results showed alarming levels of malnutrition and high morbidity in Boloso Sorie wereda. It recognized that nutrition programmes alone were not enough to address the emergency, as there were needs in the health sector. For example, malnourished children and pregnant women are particularly vulnerable to malaria and water borne diseases that have high prevalence in the wereda. Therefore, the team recommended support to the local health structures and services in addition to feeding programmes. Recognising that sufficient general ration is fundamental to the success of other interventions; it called for continuous lobbying of the DPPC to ensure adequate distribution of general ration to the vulnerable population.

This month, OXFAM GB will start a four-month project to implement therapeutic and supplementary feeding programmes in Boloso Sorie wereda where there is currently no other NGO operating. The beneficiaries are children under the age of five, and lactating and pregnant women. One of its objectives is to raise awareness on the link between hygiene and nutrition/health, thereby empowering the people to improve their own health and hygiene environment. OXFAM-GB intends to increase the availability of clean water in vulnerable areas by supporting a partner local NGO that is currently working on hygiene promotion, water and sanitation programmes. Basic support will also be given to government health structures to help them cope with the increased demand on services due to the nutritional crisis.

Some of the expected outcomes of the project are to improve the nutritional status amongst children and permit the affected population to resume normal production and economic activities. In order to reach these objectives, the team recommends that some policy and practices need to be changed. For example, channeling of relief food through female members of the affected households because some men have more than one wife and this can result in dilution of the ration to family members. In addition, some men tend to sell the food and use the money for unintended purposes.

OXFAM-GB is currently seeking significant funding for the project. Boloso Sorie is particularly sensitive to many factors, including rainfall and crop yields, so levels of needs can change quickly. Once operational, the project will closely monitor needs and beneficiary numbers and adjust the scale of the intervention accordingly. OXFAM GB initially plans up to three feeding centers and blanket supplementary feeding to all under five years while verifying numbers for a more targeted approach later-on.

SOS Sahel Food Security Research Project in Koisha

In 1991, SOS Sahel began working in Koisha wereda in Welayita. Initially, it focused on development activities but soon realized the need to explore an integrated strategy of relief and development to address the chronic food insecurity in the area. SOS Sahel started an action research project in 1992 looking at the causes of food insecurity and piloting an employment generation scheme (EGS). The project, which worked alongside SOS Sahelís more development oriented programme, stressed preparedness and prevention and aimed to link in with the Ethiopian Governmentís policy of reduced dependence on free food distributions.

Findings of this Food Security Research Project in Koisha thus far indicate that: 1) provided vulnerable households can be effectively targeted, guaranteed employment can make a significant contribution to food security; 2) with appropriate support and training, an accountable community can take major responsibility for planning, labor recruitment and management of EGS; 3) participation in planning and in selection of works will be a critical factor in ensuring asset creation has long-term benefits; 4) initially implementation costs are likely to be significantly higher than conventional relief, however, the use of cash payments and local purchase could significantly reduce costs; 5) to be effective as a mechanism for readdressing chronic food insecurity, these programmes need to be longer-term and fully integrated into ongoing development activities.

Since October 1999, SOS Sahel has scaled up its EGS programme and started free food distributions in Koisha with grants from DFID. From October 99 to April 2000, SOS Sahel distributed 4,242 MT of cereal in Koisha and have funding to distribute a further 2,900 MT (1,000 of which will be distributed in Offa wereda) between April and September 2000. Approximately three-quarters of the food are being distributed through EGS, and one quarter through free food distributions.

World Vision Provides Support to Sodo Hospital

World Vision, active in Welayita since the famine of 1984, is currently working in both the Humbo and Sodo Zuria weredas. As part of its emergency relief activities, it provides support to Sodo hospital, the only hospital in Welayita. Although the hospital is in very poor condition with insufficient medical supplies, lack of medicine, an acute water problem, and no pediatrician, dentist or eye specialist, it serves some 2.5 million people. Through its work at the hospital, World Vision is combating this problem by providing children with supplementary food, building latrines, assisting with the water supply, rehabilitating rooms and providing assistance to the therapeutic feeding center.

In addition, World Vision is providing basic food rations in both weredas. In Humbo, it is assisting 68,000 beneficiaries by providing 6,112 MT of maize and wheat for the April to December 2000 period of which 1,255 has been distributed in June and July. In Sodo Zuria, World Vision is providing 3,077 MT of maize and wheat to 55,515 beneficiaries for the April to August period, of which 1,003 MT were distributed in June and July.

World Visionís longer-term development programmes in this area include an Area Development Program, household food security programme focusing on agriculture production, and interventions in the health, education and water sector.

American Red Cross to Start Supplementary Feeding in Ofa

The American Red Cross (ARC) will work together with the Ethiopian Red Cross to start a dry supplementary feeding programme in Ofa wereda beginning in August. The programme, which will target 7,000 pregnant and lactating women and under five beneficiaries, will provide 800 MT of UNIMIX over an 8 month period at 100 MT per month. These interventions were initiated after an MSF-France nutritional survey that estimated a 16.2% global malnutrition rate in Ofa wereda. ARC will carry out its own nutritional survey in August and will continue to do so once every three months.

Assistance to Drought Affected Farmers

in North Omo Zone

Due to the consecutive failures of the belg in the North Omo Zone and the delay in 2000 of the Belg by two to three months, FAO sent a field officer to North Omo Zone to assess the agricultural requirements in this area. Based on the findings of this mission, FAO plans to initiate an emergency sweet potato project in this area to assist 30,000 households covering 7,450 hectares of land for the September to June 2001 time period. The project will have three mechanisms for improving sweet potato production: 1) purchasing from farmers with functioning crops, 2) on farm multiplication and cuttings, which provides farmers with cuttings, then gives support by re-buying and redistributing these crops, 3) on-station sweet potato vine multiplication, which provides rehabilitation to eight nursery sites. Sweet potato crop, although already utilized in the highlands, will be introduced to the lowlands, as it is relatively drought tolerant. To ensure that this intervention functions under drought conditions if the belg were to fail again next season, portable pumps will be provided to the nurseries and to select wereda district agricultural offices.
 
Current Features of North Omo and Surrounding Areas
Altitudinal Belts  Characteristics Needs
Highland Areas-Dega 

i.e. Welayita

Better rains; over populated; land shortage; soil erosion; enset and sweet potato are strategic crops during drought; but has mostly lost sweet potato plantation due to the severe drought and pest damage. Provision of sweet potato vines and cereal seeds; soil conservation; family planning; long term measure to control disease and pest on enset and sweet potato; tools supply; and nutritional studies.
Mid Altitude Areas-

Woina dega

i.e. Konso

Rainfall is medium; drought and moisture stress are sporadic; has better land and farming potentials than the highlands. Development of irrigation; water conservation; provision of seeds and planting materials; and provision of tools.
Lowland Areas-

Kola

i.e. S. Omo

Drought prone area; rainfall is scarce; abundant agropastoral land; population density is low; rain fed crop production is risky; livestock rearing is common; no mechanisms to mitigate drought effects; and animals severely affected by the drought. Introduction of sweet potato as coping mechanism; animal disease surveillance; pasture improvement; and provision of tools.

 

Situation in Borena and shinille

Borena ó Garri Conflict

The recent clashes between the Borena and Garri pastoralist farmers in and around El-Gof, El-Leh, Hudet and along the Negele Filtu line have died down. The main cause of the clashes was related to rights on scare resources such as water and grazing land. The potentially dangerous situation was put under control following discussions held in Moyale between the President of the State Council of Oromia and the Somali National Regional States. Four Reconciliation Committee (RCs) of eleven members were formed at regional, zonal, wereda and kebele level. Members include local community elders, the administration and the defense.

Adjuran ó Garri Conflict

Some 2,600 Kenyan born Garris crossed the border to the Garri dominated territory of the Liban Zone. The group is reported by the local authorities to have fled from the recent clashes between the Adjurans and the Garris of the Wajir District of the Northern Province. Negotiations are ongoing between Ethiopian and Kenyan border officials for the return of livestock raided by the Garris from the Adjurans pastoralists. A meeting of border officials scheduled for 22 July 2000 to discuss the modalities of repatriation of the livestock looted by the Garris to owners in Kenya has been postponed owing to other priorities.

There are certain speculations in the field that the influx of Garris from the Wajir District might continue because of renewed fighting between the Adjurans and the Garris in Kenya.

Repatriation of Kenyan Refugees

Preparations have recommenced for the voluntary repatriation of about 5,100 Kenyan refugees currently residing in the Moyale areas (Adjurans and Degodians). These refugees have been assisted by UNHCR and WFP since 1995. A joint UNHCR and Kenyan Government mission was in Moyale to discuss with ARRA (Agency for Refugee and Returnee Affairs) and UNHCR the modalities of implementation of the anticipated operation. A follow-up meeting of a joint Technical Committee comprising UNHCR and Government counterparts of Ethiopia and Kenya is scheduled for mid-August 2000 to finalize the repatriation plan for implementation.

Out-Migration in Shinille Zone

From mid-May on, thousands of pastoralists left the Shinille area and drove their livestock south into the mountains. Their families at the same time converged on the two roads that bisect Shinille (Dire Dawa ó Ayisha and Dire Dawa ó Erer/Aydora/Asbuli) in search of water and food.

This zone in the northern area of Somali Region (SNRS) was for a long time considered relatively food secure. In the needs assessment that preceded the January 2000 appeal, Shinille had little more than 80,000 beneficiaries, the second lowest toll. However the prolonged drought in 1998/99 and the complete failure of the belg rains this year changed the situation completely and fast. There are now 250,000 beneficiaries in need of assistance, and yet the agencies and NGOs active in Shinille Zone are still lacking funds for the necessary programmes.

The most urgent needs remain in the health care sector. Half a dozen makeshift settlements sprung up with 3,000 to 12,000 people massing together without sanitation and health infrastructure to accommodate their needs, creating a serious health hazard. There are also an alarming number of malnourished children that require special food. In addition, veterinary assistance by experts is a must for rehabilitation of the nomadic pastoralists as animal diseases contributed to a large extend to the loss of livestock during the prolonged drought.