IRIN News Briefs [19990713]

IRIN News Briefs [19990713]

HORN OF AFRICA: IRIN News Briefs, 13 July

ETHIOPIA: UN launches relief action plan and appeal

The UN Country Team (UNCT) in Ethiopia on Monday launched a special Relief Action Plan and Appeal for the most severely drought- affected areas of the country. In a press release, it highlighted the urgent need for additional pledges to meet drought relief food requirements throughout the country. The statement also lists a number of priority interventions, valued at approximately US $7.5 million, in the health, water, sanitation, nutrition and agriculture fields to be undertaken over the next three months.

The worst affected areas are south Tigray, Wag Harma, north and south Wello, east Harerge, Welayita and Konso Special Wereda, the UNCT statement said. "Without additional food aid pledges and special interventions, the worst drought-affected areas risk a major humanitarian disaster characterised by large-scale population migrations and displacement, a major increase in child and maternal mortality levels due to malnutrition and disease, and the possible need to open hundreds of feeding centres," the statement said. "The effects of such deterioration may well take years of special rehabilitation efforts, effectively erasing modest developmental gains made this decade."

SOMALIA: Food outlook "grim" - FAO

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has said Somalia's food outlook for 1999 and beyond is "extremely grim" due to several factors. The FAO lists failure of the Gu season, cumulative adverse weather, invasion by armyworms and inter-factional fighting. In a special alert, it says current estimates indicate that some 70,000 people have been displaced by food shortages and insecurity. "It is estimated that more than one million people face serious food shortages with over 40,000 at risk of starvation. Malnutrition is reported to be high and increasing," FAO said. With the failure of the main season [Gu], continued large- scale food assistance will be required well into next year. The agency appealed to the international community to devise ways of reaching and assisting the increasingly desperate population, despite the serious obstacles hampering food relief distributions.

Aid group issues donor alert

The Emergency Task Force (ETF) of the Somalia Aid Coordination Body (SACB) has launched a donor alert, worth over US $17 million, in response to the "worsening agriculture and livestock conditions". An SACB statement said indicators point towards another poor harvest and "humanitarian agencies are preparing to respond to avert another emergency".

UNICEF sends humanitarian supplies to Baidoa

UNICEF sent a convoy of humanitarian aid and an assessment mission to Baidoa at the end of June in response to "early warnings" of a sixth consecutive harvest failure, SACB reported. The team had earlier received the green light to proceed from the Rahanweyn Resistance Army (RRA) which recaptured the RRA's heartland capital from Hussein Aideed's faction early last month. The distribution of the new supplies should benefit some 11,500 people in Baidoa town.

WFP deliveries in southern Somalia to resume

With the recent lull in clan fighting in southern Somalia, WFP is resuming its activities in lower Shabelle, Bay, Bakool and Gedo. It will transfer 400 mt to lower Shabelle to support food-for-work projects, another 400 mt to Bardera and over 1000 mt to Bay region from the port town of Merca. Reports indicate that crop production is very poor, with cereal production likely to be reduced in the rain-fed areas. Livestock is also in "below normal condition", WFP said. It noted that although the lifting of the livestock export ban had encouraged the export of animals, it had also resulted in a significant increase in prices.


[ Feedback: UN IRIN-CEA Tel: +254 2 622123 Fax: +254 2 622129 ]

Item: irin-english-1217

[This item is delivered in the "irin-english" service of the UN's IRIN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations. For further information or free subscriptions, or to change your keywords, contact e-mail: or fax: +254 2 622129 or Web: . If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer.]

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

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

Previous Menu Home Page What's New Search Country Specific