HORN OF AFRICA: IRIN News Briefs [19991022]

HORN OF AFRICA: IRIN News Briefs [19991022]

HORN OF AFRICA: IRIN News Briefs, 22 October

ETHIOPIA: More food aid required

Ethiopia's Federal Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Commission has said over 274,000 mt of food assistance is needed up to December this year to rehabilitate people affected by food shortages in the country. According to the Ethopian News Agency, it said some 200,000 mt had already been pledged by donors, but it further urged the donor community to offset the remaining 74,023 mt of relief food. The number of needy people had grown from 5.3 million in July to seven million currently, the commission said.

ETHIOPIA: OCHA working on early warning project

UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Sergio Vieira de Mello, who visited Ethiopia last week, said OCHA and the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction (IDNDR) are working on a joint project to "increase African capacity on early warning and disaster preparedness". De Mello, who met OAU Secretary-General Salim Ahmed Salim in Addis Ababa, said OCHA would organise a symposium next year to "chart out a multi-year action programme" on the subject. He assured Salim that further steps would be taken to increase the flow of information through OCHA's presence in Addis Ababa, according to a UN statement.


Meanwhile, Ethiopia's Foreign Minister Seyoum Mesfin decried the plight of populations displaced by the Ethiopia-Eritrean conflict and claimed that more than 150,000 land mines had been planted in his country. He told de Mello that this was "hindering" the return of farmers to their villages. De Mello urged Ethiopia to be "generous and grand and ... overcome doubts and reservations so as not to allow the peace process to slow down". De Mello also visited Eritrea, where he discussed the war situation with President Isayas Afewerki.

DJIBOUTI: IMF approves ESAF loan for Djibouti

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Monday approved a three-year loan of about US $26.5 million for Djibouti, under its Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility (ESAF). A statement from the organisation said the loan will support the government's three-year economic reform programme which began in July 1999. It said the first annual loan would be disbursed in three instalments. The money was intended to strengthen macroeconomic policies and deepen structural reforms to accelerate growth, raise employment levels, reduce poverty and strengthen Djibouti's external position, IMF's Deputy Managing Director Shigemitsu Sugisaki said.

DJIBOUTI: President makes fresh efforts to unite Somali leaders

Djiboutian President Ismael Omar Gelleh is making fresh efforts to unite Somali leaders and consult with them on his peace proposal for Somalia, the Somali 'Qaran' newspaper reported on Wednesday. It said Gelleh was consulting with scholars, clan elders, opinion leaders and politicians on the "way forward" for his recent peace proposal. The paper added that a delegation from the Habar Gedir clan was already in Djibouti, and that those from the Puntland administration and Somaliland were also expected in the country in the next few days.

SOMALIA: WFP condemns continued violence against aid workers

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) on Wednesday condemned continued violence against aid workers in Somalia, after two staff members came under fire while overseeing food distributions at El Buur. In a statement, WFP said Tuesday's incident came barely four days after a convoy carrying WFP food was attacked by gunmen near Mahadday north of Mogadishu. "These incidents are completely unacceptable," WFP's Regional Director for Africa Mohamed Zejjari said. "The riskier it is for out staff to deliver food, the worse it becomes for the people who really need it. We're not only concerned about the safety of our staff but also for those innocent Somalis who could go hungry because violence prevents us from reaching them."

SOMALIA: World Vision delivers seeds

Meanwhile, World Vision successfully delivered some 200 mt of sorghum seeds in Bay region after local elders helped staff resolve security concerns, a statement from the organisation said. Earlier in the distribution, there were two incidents of looting by armed gangs in which 12 mt of seeds were taken. The deliveries are part of a 240 mt consignment of seeds targeting some 10,000 farming families in Baidoa.


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Copyright (c) UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs 1999

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Editor: Dr. Ali B. Ali-Dinar, Ph.D

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