EUE-ReliefBulletin: June 20, 2003


Responding to the severe drought that has devastated large parts of Ethiopia and Eritrea, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan on 18 June 2003 named former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari as his Special Envoy for the humanitarian crisis in the Horn of Africa. Mr. Ahtisaari - who has also served as a Special Representative to Namibia and the former Yugoslavia - previously served the President of Finland, as an Ambassador to Tanzania and as Under-Secretary General for Administration and Management.

Sectoral Working groups established for a Non-Food Strategy Appeal

Representatives of donors, Government, UN, ICRC and NGOs met this week and established four sectoral working groups (health, water, nutrition and agriculture) to examine strategies approaches and methodologies for non-food needs assessments and emergency programs. The main objective of the meeting was to discuss approaches and strategies for non-food requirements, which was underestimated in the 2003 Appeal. Therefore, it was decided to establish sectoral working groups comprised of technical experts from Government, UN and NGOs that will meet regularly and present their findings and recommendations to the next Non-Food Strategy Approach and Methodology meeting. The lead agency for the health sectors working group is WHO, agriculture sector is FAO while UNICEF will be the lead agency for the working groups in the nutrition and water sectors.

 Supplementary feeding to prevent severe acute malnutrition

 As part of its emergency nutritional intervention, in response to the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Ethiopia, UNICEF has purchased 1,000 metric tons of FAMIX locally and 4,000 metric tons of UNIMIX abroad to reach more than 145,000 children and pregnant and lactating mothers. While UNICEF estimates that there is enough stock of therapeutic food and milk for immediate use in 48 UNICEF supported Therapeutic Feeding Centers (TFCs), the challenge remains in Supplementary Feeding. Partnerships have been developed with the DPPC and several NGOs for storage, transport and final distribution. Supplementary Feeding is essential in the prevention of severe and moderate malnutrition. Increasing the number of supplementary screening sites will prevent moderately malnourished children from becoming severely malnourished. It will also make it possible to refer children to therapeutic feeding centers when needed. Targeted distribution of supplementary food will also ensure that children are able to recover after receiving treatment for severe malnutrition, reducing the chances of relapsing or re-admission to TFCs. In addition, the screening sites will also improve the surveillance capacity to identify pockets of acute malnutrition and monitor the nutritional status of children in drought-affected areas.

 Food Distribution in SNNPR reported regular and timely

WFP reported that grain food aid deliveries to all targeted districts in SNNPR have been regular and more or less timely since March this year. Some of the most seriously affected woredas have received the May allocation on the basis of 15 kg of cereal per person per month. Deliveries of supplementary food in the months of March and April heavily focused on the most severely affected woredas of Guraghe, Silti, Sidama and Wolayta zones. In May, however, the coverage significantly increased and most of the affected woredas received supplementary food. Vegetable oil dispatches started towards the end of May and at the beginning of June to woredas of Wolayta and Sidama zones. As previously reported, more work needs to be done on targeting and coordination.

 SC-USA, Emergency Health and Nutrition Program (EHNP)

Since the end of March 2003, SC-USA has been implementing a USAID funded program to improve the response to the drought. Program activities coordinated by UN, DPPC/ENCU and NGOs are implemented through partners with the objective of increasing local capacity. Activities include rapid emergency assessments in SNNPR and nutrition surveys in worst affected areas of Afar, Somali, Oromia and Tigray regions. In addition, under SC-USA selective feeding programs in SNNPR that addresses 452 children, 254 are under treatment. The program also funds others to implement rapid emergency responses, nutrition surveys and social mobilization for the measles vaccination campaigns. For further information and requests please contact Hedwig Deconinck at 671066/7/8 or ""