EUE: Monthly Situation Report - January 1998

EUE: Monthly Situation Report - January 1998


January 1998

Consolidated UN report prepared by the Information Section of the UNDP Emergencies Unit for Ethiopia from information and reports provided by specialised UN agencies, media sources, the Government and NGOs


* With weather patterns over the Horn of Africa still thought to be under the influence of the El Niño phenomenon, the National Meteorological Services Agency has projected generally favourable rainfall conditions for the coming belg season;

* The incidence of malaria has reached alarming proportions in previously flood-affected parts of Ethiopia, while isolated outbreaks of serious diarrhoeal disease and the threat of the spread of Rift Valley Fever into southern and south-eastern Ethiopia from neighbouring Kenya and Somalia is causing concern;

* While localised infestations of African Tree Locust along the Kenya-Ethiopia border are not expected to result in any serious crop damage, breeding of Desert Locusts along the Red Sea coasts of Sudan, Eritrea and Yemen could presage an invasion southwards into Ethiopia later in the year;

* The Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Commission is to conduct limited post-harvest assessments in selected parts of the country to determine both the positive and negative effects of the unseasonable rains in October/November last year;

* Following the visit of James Wolfensohn, President of the World Bank, in January, Ethiopia is to receive visits from a number of senior UN officials in the coming weeks. Among the visitors will be Carol Bellamy, Executive Director of UNICEF; Catherine Bertini, Executive Director of the WFP; Jacques Diouf, Director General of FAO; and Sadako Ogata, UN High Commissioner for Refugees. Meanwhile, the UN Secretary General. Kofi Annan, is slated to visit Addis Ababa in late April.


EPRDF Congress decides on major changes: The ruling Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) concluded its third party congress in Jimma on 10 January with a pledge to achieve in the near future an annual grain surplus production of one million tons and to generally boost the agricultural and economic development of the country. The four day congress, attended by 1,000 delegates, also elected Prime Minister Meles Zenawi as the Front's secretary for a third five-year term. The congress confirmed as well new policies to allow limited participation of foreign investors in the telecommunications, hydroelectric power and defence industry sectors. No timetable for the implementation of the reforms was given.

World Bank President Wolfensohn brings $509 million soft loan: World Bank President James Wolfensohn paid a four day official visit to Ethiopia in late January during which a US $509 million soft loan agreement with Ethiopia was signed. Of the total, $309 million was earmarked for the road sector programme with the balance going to the Gilgel Gibe Hydro Power Project. The Ethiopian Roads Authority later announced, that the road sector loan will be used for "gravel road asphalting" and "asphalt road rehabilitating" projects along four main roads in the country. Included in the upgrading and asphalting programmes are the Debre Markos - Gonder and the Awash - Harar highways. Ethiopia has the lowest road density in Africa, presenting a major obstacle to her endeavours to develop the agricultural based economic strategy. During his visit Mr. Wolfensohn also announced a further loan of US $91 million for Ethiopia, to be approved later this year and earmarked for health and education.

Dutch Foreign Minister visits Ethiopia: The Netherlands Deputy Prime Minster and Minister of Foreign Affairs, H. E. Mr. Hans van Mierlo, stated that "Ethiopia is on its way to build a solid infrastructure for good governance". The Minister, on an official visit to Addis Ababa, assured Ethiopian officials that Holland will continue its approximately US $25 million annual assistance to Ethiopia. He also announced his government's contribution of $75,000 to the Human Rights Conference to be organised by Ethiopia in May.

Tamirat Layne's millions frozen: Switzerland has reportedly frozen US $8 million in Geneva bank accounts belonging to former Ethiopian Prime and Defence Minister Tamirat Layne following a judicial assistance request from Addis Ababa, a federal police spokesman said. Switzerland had received a request in this matter after Tamirat was dismissed from his post and put under custody in October 1996. The former government official is accused of having embezzled the money from state coffers.

Ethio-Swedish Trade Fair: Opening an Ethiopian-Swedish Trade Fair in late January, H. E. Ato Kasahun Ayele, Minister of Trade and Industry, said the fair represented a significant contribution to the exchange of experiences and information as well as facilitating the transfer of technology and fostering bilateral co-operation between the two countries.

UNDP: Dialogue with Development Partners: Ms. Thelma Awori, Assistant Administrator and Director of the Regional Bureau for Africa in the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in New York, visited Ethiopia in early January. In addition to meeting high ranking government officials, she also met the Secretary General of the Organisation for African Unity (OAU) and the Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA). At the United Nations Conference Centre in Addis Ababa Ms. Awori gave a major speech in which she underlined her agency's strong commitment for a continuos "dialogue with development partners".

International clerics on Visit: The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. George Carey, called for creditor countries to write-off Africa's debt. The head of the Anglican Church made this point during a visit to Addis Ababa addressing the diplomatic community with a speech entitled "Chains around Africa: Crisis or Hope for the New Millennium?" Earlier, Mr. Louis Farrakhan, another international cleric and leader of the Nation of Islam in the United States, visited Ethiopia and met the Prime Minister and other officials. Farrakhan said that African Americans had the desire to promote cultural and professional exchange with Africa in general and with Ethiopia in particular.

IGAD meetings: A three day IGAD (Inter-Governmental Authority on Development) sub-regional workshop on Food Security held in Addis Ababa ended in mid-January with amendments and recommendations on the disaster preparedness strategy and food aid code of conduct. The proposals are to be submitted to IGAD member countries for approval. In a related development, an Ethiopian delegation led by Foreign Minister Seyoum Mesfin went to Rome for a ministerial meeting of IGAD member states. The agenda included deliberations on the development of infrastructure and food self-sufficiency in the Horn of Africa region. The meeting was attended, besides Italy as host, by the USA, Canada, France, Britain and the European Union. One of the agreements reached was to establish a committee to oversee the implementation of projects to be carried-out by IGAD.

Canada asked to re-direct assistance: Prime Minister Meles Zenawi has asked the Government of Canada to redirect its assistance to Ethiopia to the country's priority areas of development of agriculture, health, education and the road infrastructure. These issues were discussed in a meeting with the visiting President of the Canadian International Development Aid (CIDA), Ms. Hugheppe Labelle.

Call for equitable share of Nile waters: Ethiopian Foreign Minister Seyoum Mesfin underlined the need to set up a forum to devise mechanisms for the equitable sharing of the waters of the Nile among all riparian countries. In a press interview the minister said Egypt has been preoccupied with projects from which it would be the sole beneficiary - impeding the realisation of an agreement that paves the way for a just utilisation of the water by all Nile basin countries. Ethiopia, a country affected by recurrent droughts, should make use of its water resources in a bid to achieve food self-sufficiency as it would be rather difficult to bring about sustainable agricultural development relying on rain-fed farming alone, the minister said. According to the minister, the issue of the Nile water is a key to any form of co-operation between Ethiopia and Egypt.

Israel to accept 2500 more Ethiopian immigrants: Israel hopes to bring in 2,500 Ethiopians in the next seven months on condition that they convert back to Judaism, officials in Jerusalem said in mid-January. The Ethiopian Falash Mora are former Ethiopian Jews who were converted to Christianity in the 19th century by foreign missionaries. About 60,000 Ethiopian Jews now live in Israel, facing difficulties of social integration.

Dangerous toxic waste: A senior pesticides expert has disclosed that 1,500 tons of expired toxic pesticides are stored in 256 stations across Ethiopia. Speaking on a two day workshop on pesticides at the Ministry of Agriculture, the expert said that the safe disposal of the waste, which has the potential to pollute the environment and endanger human health, requires an outlay of 30 million Birr (US $4.4 million). The chemicals, reportedly the largest quantity of expired pesticides in any African country, were originally imported into Ethiopia 30 years ago at a cost of six million dollars. The expert added that now the government is seeking external assistance since it could not bear the disposal costs.

Sudanese nationals rounded up in Addis: Ethiopian police shot dead a Sudanese refugee and wounded another during a bid to round up and move a group of refugees to a camp outside the city. Refugees, unwilling to be shifted, stoned police officers and injured two of them during the operation on 9 January in Addis Ababa. The spokesman for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Nairobi, Peter Kessler, quoted by AFP news agency, declared that "the UNHCR is very disturbed and concerned about the way the round-up was conducted", adding, "we deplore the violence." Kessler said that about 1,500 people were concerned in a transfer to Shirkole in Benishangul-Gumuz Region, where about 20,000 other refugees are already based.


Several heads of UN agencies will be visiting Ethiopia during February.

Ms. Carol Bellamy, Executive Director of the United Nations Children's Fund, will visit Ethiopia between 7 and 10 February. Ms. Bellamy will visit UNICEF project sites in Oromiya Regional State, meet with Government officials and hold programme discussions with the UNICEF country team. She will also be meeting with OAU Secretary General, Salim A. Salim.

On 13 February, Ms. Catherine Bertini, Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme will begin a seven day visit to Ethiopia. During her time in Ethiopia Ms. Bertini will review WFP's country programme, visit WFP project sites and meet with government officials.

Dr. Jacques Diouf, Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, will visit Ethiopia between 15 and 19 February to participate in the 20th Session of the FAO Regional Conference for Africa to be held at the United Nations Conference Centre in Addis Ababa.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Mrs. Sadako Ogata, who will be visiting nine African countries to meet with African leaders, will visit Ethiopia towards the end of her tour. Mrs. Ogata's trip will focus on refugee and reintegration issues in the Great Lakes region and while in Addis Ababa Mrs Ogata will also hold consultations with the OAU.

It has also been announced by the UNECA that United Nations Secretary General, Kofi Annan, will be visiting Ethiopia to attend an international conference on women and economic development in Africa to be held at the UN Conference Centre in Addis Ababa from April 28 to May 1. The conference, which will bring together a number of heads of state and government, African policy makers, UN organisations, civil society and NGOs, has been organised in partnership with UNDP and the World Bank and will coincide with the UNECA's 40th anniversary.


DPPC post-harvest assessment

During the regular meeting of the Early Warning Working Group at the DPPC on 27 January, the DPPC outlined plans for a post-harvest assessment mission. Although this is the first time that the DPPC will undertaken such a mission, it was felt that the unseasonable rains in October and November throughout much of the country might have changed the overall food availability picture. In some areas these unusual rains were very beneficial to late planted crops but in other areas they delayed harvesting, and caused additional pre- and post-harvest losses. For the lowlands and other areas where livestock had been affected by the poor meher rains, these late rains were critical to the replenishment of pasture and ground water resources. This special assessment will only cover selected zones within Tigray, Amhara, Oromiya and the Southern Region (SNNPRS) and will be limited to about two weeks. At present, the plan is for a total of 5 teams with 2 teams for Amhara region and one team for each the other 3 regions. One or two teams will start work on 17 February and the remaining teams will start their assessments one week later so that they will also be able to gather first impressions of the belg rains.

Food and Logistics

Including confirmed pledges, carry-over stocks, local purchases and notional pledges, WFP estimate that food potentially available against 1998 relief needs as of the end of January to be about 225,000 tons:

Source tons

Carry-over stocks: 47,000

US confirmed pledge 75,000

CIDA confirmed pledge 12,500

DPPC Local Purchase with SIDA grant 31,000

WFP notional pledge[1] 60,000

As of 23 January, WFP reports that food stocks at the ports totalled just under 87,000 tons with 12,962 tons at Assab, 27,258 tons at Djibouti and 37,400 tons either at anchor or in the port of Massawa. Although fertiliser has begun to arrive or is due in early February in Assab and Djibouti, there are no problems at the moment of congestion at any of the three ports.


Because of both floods in the Ethiopia Somali region and untimely rains in the last quarter of 1997 in most of the rest of the country there is increasing concern about the availability of good quality traditional seeds. Although the Ethiopian Seed Enterprise has about 10,000 tons of wheat seed that is still uncommitted, most farmers rely on seeds taken from the previous harvest. This year, because of the untimely rain, seed quality is poor and in some areas the only recourse farmers have is to increase seeding rates.

In response to these concerns FAO has prepared three project proposals for special agricultural packages.[2] The first proposal covers a total of 584 tons of maize and sorghum seeds, 661 tons of fertiliser, farm implements and small irrigation pumps and other agriculture inputs for the flood affected areas of the Somali region of Ethiopia. The other two proposals are for the drought affected areas of Amhara and Tigray regions. For Amhara region the proposal calls for the provision of 4,499 tons of various types of seeds and 75,000 farm implements while the proposal for Tigray region includes 1,994 tons of seeds and 45,000 basic agriculture implements.


In Kenya there have been various media reports of locusts along the Kenya/Ethiopia border. A Ministry of Agriculture team that recently visited South Omo identified the outbreak to be African Tree Locust and grass hoppers and not the more dangerous and damaging desert locusts. The danger of the infestation spreading is limited and the threat to crops is thought to be minimal in this predominately pastoral area.

Due to the very unusual rains last year, however, conditions in the traditional Desert Locust breeding areas along the Red Sea coast are exceptionally favourable at present. Following the identification of a number of large hopper bands in January, aerial spraying operations are presently underway along the coast of Sudan and Eritrea. Both FAO and the Desert Locust Control Organisation (DLCO) are monitoring the situation closely.

There have also been reports of some armyworm moths in Ethiopia. Although this is early in the year for armyworms, the unusual rains late last year have also created favourable conditions for breeding and the situation will have to be monitored carefully. Although historically armyworm moths have invaded Ethiopia from breeding sites along the Tanzanian and Kenyan coasts, some experts now believe endemic populations may have become established in parts of Southern Ethiopia where they have formed a reservoir with the potential to spread quickly to other locations in the country when conditions are favourable.

Although high profile migratory pests such as locusts and armyworms often receive more publicity and attention, local pests such as Welo Bush Cricket, Stalk Borer, rats and baboons usually cause much more damage. The extremely damp conditions during the last quarter of 1997 are expected to favour the spread of insect and other such pests and lead to a significant increase in pre- and post-harvest losses in the coming year.

Grain Markets

In Addis Ababa, wholesale cereal prices changed only very little during the month, reflecting unusually weak flows into the market. According to the MeDAC-sponsored Grain Market Research Project (GMRP), this could be a sign of impending grain supply problems in 1998. Decline in market flows of more than 10 per cent were observed across the full range of cereals but this did not appear to result in a proportional increase in prices. In some cases prices even declined, for example the price of wheat in the third week of the month decreased by over 3 per cent despite a decline in market flow by 9 per cent.

Grain flows and wholesale prices in other markets around the country showed a similarly unusual pattern for the time of year. With the main season harvest entering the markets in the period December-January, traded volumes are normally high and prices low at this time. This year, flows of the major grains - sorghum, maize, wheat, barley and teff - showed only slight increases while generally across the markets, average wholesale prices were a only few percentage points down compared to the previous three weeks. In some markets, short-lived but nonetheless significant increases in the volume of barley and teff were recorded but there appeared to be little congruence with wholesale price changes, according to the GMRP.

Selected wholesale prices for the third week of January were as follows (Ethiopian Birr per 100 kgs): Mixed Teff, Birr 233 - 128 (Dire Dawa/Shambu); White barley, Birr 220 - 100 (Metu/Meki); Wheat, Birr 243 - 130 (Mekele/Shashemane); Sorghum, Birr 215 - 90 (Dire Dawa/Bahir Dar); Maize, Birr 149 - 72 (Mekele/Shambu). In general, current wholesale grain prices remain up to 20 per cent higher than the same period last year, reflecting the significantly reduced 1997 meher production.


Seasonally wet weather prevailed over much of southern and south-western Ethiopia during the month. The central highlands were generally dry with night time temperatures falling significantly as is expected at this time of year. The month began with cloudy weather over much of the country with isolated showers recorded in Oromiya, Amhara and eastern Tigray. The persistent trough of low pressure over the Arabian peninsular that brought these conditions (and the unseasonably heavy rains in November and December) gradually moved eastwards during the first dekad giving way to drier though sometimes cloudy conditions over most of the north and north-east of Ethiopia.

From the second dekad, moist air again moving from the east brought widespread rainfall activity to the south, south-east and central parts of the country, with quite heavy storms observed in some locations in the south. Locally heavy rain was reported from Dire Dawa, Gode and Awassa around mid-month. During the third dekad of the month rainfall activity diminished significantly with rains mainly limited to most of the southern region, Gambella, a few parts of Oromiya, Amhara and pocket areas of the Somali region. According to NMSA, compared to the 1991-95 satellite estimated average, rainfall in January was normal to much above normal for most parts of the Southern Region (SNNPRS), parts of Gambella and a few locations in Amhara and Oromiya.

The long range forecast issued by NMSA at the end of January indicated that weather over Ethiopia will continue to be influenced by the El Niño phenomenon for the duration of the belg season, which is expected to be characterised by mainly favourable rainfall conditions. NMSA projects that seasonally normal to above normal rainfall in February will be followed by a dry period in March over most belg-growing areas before wetter conditions return in April. Though May is normally seen as a short dry spell before the onset of the main season rains in June, this year NMSA anticipate that the first two dekads of the month could be wetter than normal. The influence of the El Niño is expected to weaken from June onwards as conditions in the eastern Pacific Ocean return to a more normal pattern.

Emergency Food Security Reserve

The Emergency Food Security Reserve provided just under 61,000 tons in new loans over the last quarter of 1997 leaving a physical balance at the end of the year of 88,360 tons. Towards the end of January, physical stocks at the nine locations around the country stood at a little over 132,000 tons with the bulk held at the two principal stores of Nazereth and Kombolcha. The EFSR administration estimates that on the basis of the current schedule of repayments, and subject to new loans being granted, physical holdings could be expected to rise steadily during February to reach a possible 280,000 tons by the end of the month.

Following a study commissioned by the DPPC and financed by Oxfam (UKI), the Emergency Food Security Reserve Administration has been identified as an appropriate institution to administer the proposed non-food contingency stock of shelter materials and other emergency equipment meant to increase government capacity to respond to sudden onset emergencies such as floods. The proposed contingency stock would be maintained at the main EFSR depot at Nazereth with overall management being the responsibility of a technical committee comprising the EFSRA manager and representatives from relevant government ministries, UN agencies, donors and the NGO community. The importance of establishing such a contingency stock as part of the government's preparedness strategy became apparent after the devastating Awash floods in the summer of 1996.


An independent rapid food security assessment has been undertaken by CARE to evaluate the impact of the 1997 short rains (October/November) in pastoral areas of Borena zone (Oromiya Region) in southern Ethiopia. Focussing on Dire, Moyale, Teltele and Yabello weredas, the assessment looked at the impact of the rains on the availability of pasture and water, the condition of livestock, crop performance, market activity, food security and human health.

Pastoralists and agro-pastoralists in these areas reported that the amount of rainfall received was much higher than the previous 39 years and was comparable to 1958. These subjective assessments were substantiated by rainfall gauge data collected from the towns of Mega and Yabello. As a result, pasture and water availability was good and estimated to be sufficient to meet livestock needs until the next main rainy season in March-May. Livestock condition was viewed as generally good although pasteurellosis was a major disease of cattle and milk production was still low due to the loss of many cattle during the drought of 1996 and early 1997.

Observations of the terms of trade showed a mixed picture during the last half of 1997. Though some stabilisation was seen towards the end of the year, the general trend following the drought of 1996 and early 1997 has been downwards. Though the provision of food aid to resource-poor people by the Oromiya relief bureau, EECMY/LWF, NCA and CARE (the latter through an EGS programme including bush clearance and road maintenance), has led to some improvement in household food consumption, the CARE assessment reported that around 43 per cent of the population in the four weredas surveyed were still vulnerable to food insecurity and in need of both immediate relief and longer-term intervention in the form of re-stocking/de-stocking and livestock disease control measures.

The Nutritional Surveillance Programme (NSP) of SCF (UK) regularly surveys the nutritional status and household economies of food insecure communities in Tigray, Welo, Hararghe and North Omo. In the project's post harvest report for Central, South and East Tigray, issued in January, it was confirmed that, overall, nutritional status in these zones remains satisfactory though crop production was severely affected both by a lack of rain in July/August and excess rain later in the year. While grain prices had fallen since September 1997, thought partly due to the availability of relief wheat at a relatively low price, the mean cereal price was still 57 per cent higher than the same time last year and remains very high relative to other regions. Likewise with the terms of trade, despite some improvement following the late rains, the situation was still poor compared to the same period a year ago. One important result of the poor belg and meher harvests has been a greater dependency on the market to obtain food.

A recent visit to Wolayita, North Omo zone of Oromyia region, by the UNDP-EUE has indicated that food security conditions there have improved somewhat in recent months. The food shortages anticipated towards the end of 1997 have not yet materialised. This was thought to be largely due to the unusual rains late in the year and generally adequate relief assistance which enabled the more vulnerable households to delay the harvest until their crops were fully mature (the harvest of immature maize being a common when food supplies are short). Though the late rains were damaging for harvested/stacked grain and pulse crops, they were beneficial for root crops such as sweet potato - a crop which is particularly important for the food security of poorer households. Though nutritional status is apparently satisfactory at present, the more vulnerable households will be in need of relief assistance from March until at least the time of harvesting green maize - the traditional "hungry season" in this densely populated and intensively cultivated locality.

Another UNDP-EUE mission visited the East and West Hararghe zones of Oromiya region. While the late rains have had a generally positive impact on livestock in the low- and mid-altitude areas and led to increased production of chat (a mildly narcotic weed popular through the Horn of Africa), main season crop production is expected to be more than 30 per cent down on 1996/97. In addition to chat, coffee is an important cash crop in the mid- and highlands of Hararghe. The unseasonable rains have had a negative impact on this years crop, with the premature fall of berries and the spread of Coffee Berry Disease (CBD). Pending completion of zonal and DPPC-led post-harvest assessments, the exact numbers of people needing relief assistance are not yet known, however, the final figure is expected to be significantly higher than last year.


Reports of sporadic outbreaks of severe diarrhoea/dysentery have been received from Afar region and parts of southern Ethiopia. The nature of the outbreaks has not yet been determined but regional health authorities are taking measures to respond. The central Ministry of Health have sent teams to investigate. Meanwhile, the Minister of Health, Dr. Adem Ibrahim, together with the WHO Country Representative, Dr. Wedson Mbwazi, made a three day visit to northern Afar, where a high prevalence of malaria, measles and malnutrition has been observed by regional health officials. Immediate short-term measures were proposed and the need to also involve UNICEF and WFP highlighted.

The unusually wet weather that prevailed over Ethiopia in October-November last year, has led to a significant upsurge in the incidence of malaria in many parts of the country. Seriously affected are the Southern Region (SNNPRS), Gambella, Benishangul and parts of Amhara region. While not yet viewed as an epidemic, experts are concerned at the high levels of mortality and indications that resistance to chloroquine is spreading rapidly.

In riverine areas affected by flooding in October-November last year, especially in the Gode and Liban zones of the Somali region, nutrition levels are reported to be falling. The reasons are not clear although animal health problems, low milk production and disruption to normal market activities could well be contributing factors. Meanwhile nutrition levels in the traditionally food insecure farming areas of Wolayita, Hararghe and Welo appear stable according to the latest reports from SCF (UK) and CARE.

UNICEF is continuing its co-operation with UNHCR in upgrading water facilities in refugee impacted areas of the country. In the east, UNICEF will be working closely with UNHCR on a project to construct a water pipeline from the Jerrer Valley well site to Kebrebeyah, the location of some 11,000 Somali refugees and a proposed loading point for the transport of water to the Hartisheik camps and other refugee locations in the area. UNICEF will be responsible for the procurement of electro-mechanical equipment for the project. In Benishangul, UNICEF is working with UNHCR and the local water bureau to rehabilitate ponds and other water supply facilities.

UNICEF have also recently assigned two technical teams to the Somali region and Amhara to help the local water bureaux identify any emergency needs and to assist in the planning process for emergency water interventions.

Concerns have been raised over the possibility of an epidemic of Rift Valley Fever, a haemorrhagic disease spread by mosquitoes and direct contact with infected animals, spreading into the pastoral lowlands of southern and south-eastern Ethiopia. An outbreak in Kenya's north-eastern Province has been confirmed and there are reports of many animal and some human deaths in Southern Somalia, although these reports are not necessarily consistent with RVF. Examination of remote sensing data by FAO has indicated that suitable conditions for the explosive multiplication of mosquito vectors persist over extensive areas of Kenya, southern Somalia, south-eastern and southern Ethiopia. The disease pattern in sheep, cattle and camels examined in north-east Kenya has been typical of RVF with fever, abortion, early neonatal death, jaundice and death, and a fall in milk production in dairy cattle. Humans have generally suffered influenza-like symptoms with few complications.

An expert from FAO has recently visited the Ethiopian Somali region to consult with regional officials and advise on the possibility of an outbreak of RVF. Meanwhile, unconfirmed reports have been received indicating that Saudi Arabia may be considering a ban on the import of all livestock from the Horn of Africa due to health concerns arising from the RVF outbreak. If so, this could have serious implications for the economies of south-eastern Ethiopia and neighbouring "Somaliland" .

Initial suspicions of anthrax in north-eastern Kenya have not been borne out by subsequent investigations. However, the disease could still be a component of the animal mortality reported in the flood-affected areas of both Kenya and southern Somalia and, according to FAO, further investigation is merited, especially as the dryer conditions again prevail.

A WHO consultant who visited the Ethiopian Somali region from mid December to mid January has reported significantly higher levels of morbidity and mortality from malaria, diarrhoea and pneumonia in riverine areas affected by the recent floods relative to the period immediately before the floods. Levels of malnutrition were also observed as increasing. In addition to food supplies delivered to the disaster area by the DPPC, the Regional Health Bureau provided medicines worth Birr 500,000 and covered the cost of transporting the supplies to Gode (Birr 37,500). The Health Bureau also assigned additional staff to work with the emergency Task Force in Gode and paid Birr 23,000 in per diems. From central stocks, the Ministry of Health has provided Fansidar tablets and ampoules of Quinine for the treatment of malaria cases. On its side, WHO provided 11 health kits, which are enough for 100,000 people for three months, and donated drugs worth US $150,000. A further $10,000 was given to the Ministry of Health to cover the cost of transporting these supplies to the flood-affected zones.


1,126 persons comprising 141 families repatriated during December 1997 from Hartisheik A to the north-west of Somalia. Registration for repatriation is on-going in Hartisheik B. For the period 23-27 January 1998, 4,742 persons comprising 881 families were registered and another 4,868 were re-registered for repatriation to the north-west. The destination of the majority of returnees is Hargeisa with others going to Gabiley and Berbera.

Statistics (as of 31 January 1998)

West East

Bonga 11,943 Hartisheik A 39,955

Fugnido 18,434 Hartisheik B 11,377

Dimma 7,671 Kebribeyah 11,077

Shirkole 20,400 Teferiber 46,331

Derwanaji 40,172

Sub-total 58,448 Camaboker 28,590

Rabasso 16,814

South-east Daror 33,985

Aisha 15,282

Dolo Odo 3,000

Dolo Bay 1,200 Sub-total 243,583

Suftu 1,800


Sub-total 6,000

Moyale/Dokisso 8,671

North-east Addis Ababa

Afar Region 8,000 Urban refugees 600


Administrative Map of Ethiopia


The designations employed and the presentation of material in this document do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever of the UN concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.


UNDP-EUE field reports; CARE; Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Commission (DPPC); European Union; FAO; FEWS; National Meteorological Services Agency (NMSA); Administration for Refugee and Returnee Affairs (ARRA); Grain Market Research Project of the Ministry of Economic Development and Co-operation (GMRP-MEDaC); SCF (UK); UNICEF; UNHCR; WHO; AFP; ENA.

10 February, 1998

UNDP-EUE Tel.: (251) (1) 51-10-28/29

PO Box 5580, Fax: (251) (1) 51-12-92

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia e-mail:

[1] A project proposal has been submitted to WFP Rome for approval and resourcing.

[2] Interested donors can obtain copies of these proposals from the FAO office in Addis Ababa.