Situation Report for Ethiopia November - December 1998

Situation Report for Ethiopia November - December 1998

Office of the UN Resident Co-ordinator UN Country Team Ethiopia

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


qFollowing favourable rains during the main growing season and optimum conditions for harvest, a joint FAO-WFP assessment of crop production predicts a bumper harvest, substantially higher than last year's main season harvest and close to the 1996 record;

qLaunching its relief appeal for 1999, the Government of Ethiopia announces that despite the generally favourable food security situation, poor production in some marginal areas of Amhara, Oromiya and the Somali region means around 2 million people will require food assistance in the coming year while a further million need close monitoring;

qIn a contingency plan presented to the donor community, the Tigray regional authorities say in addition to the 315,000 civilians already displaced by the conflict with Eritrea, another 300,000 people are at risk and may be forced to leave their homes should fighting along the border resume;

qWith substantial shipments of fertiliser expected in the coming two-three months, the potential for congestion at the port of Djibouti remains high, though efficient operations and rapid turn-around of vessels has so far avoided any significant backlog of Ethiopia-bound cargo at the port.

General News and Events

Prime Minister Meles Zenawi attends Franco-African summit: The Prime Minister and other top-level representatives from 49 African countries attended the 20th Franco-African summit that took place in Paris at the end of November. Also present were the United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan and the Secretary-General of the Organisation of African Unity Salim Ahmed Salim. The Prime Minister met with Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak on streamlining existing relations and with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni on bilateral issues. He also met with the South African Vice-President, the President of Senegal, and the President of Zimbabwe. The summit, which dates back to 1973, creates a forum for discussion on issues of concern for African leaders. The summit concentrated on the issue of "Security in Africa". Meanwhile, Meles Zenawi has also visited Djibouti and held talks with the Djiboutian President Hassan Gouled Aptidon and senior government officials. The Prime Minister visited the port and the Ethio-Djibouti Railway Company.

Egypt and Ethiopia meet to foster better relations: A two-day Ethio-Egyptian Consultative meeting opened in Addis Ababa in November to discuss Nile issues and the current state of relations between the two countries. Both sides indicated the need for open discussions to better streamline their relations and to co-operate in areas of shared interest. Meanwhile, both countries have agreed to work together to bring peace to Somalia. Ethiopia has been mandated by the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) and the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) to resolve the conflict while Egypt had managed to get the various warring Somali warlords to sign an accord that called for a national reconciliation conference that has since been delayed several times. According to a news report an Egyptian diplomat said the two countries had had "rival approaches to the strife in the Horn of Africa nation." Ethiopia is expected to send a delegation to Cairo in February to follow up on the meeting held in Addis.

Saudi delegation in Addis Ababa: A Saudi delegation was recently in Addis Ababa for a five-day official visit. The delegation, led by the governor of the cities of Mecca and Medina, came, "to assess the situation of Moslems living in Ethiopia". The delegation was met by Sheik Abdurahman Hussein, the Head of the Supreme Ethiopian Council on Islamic Affairs. Governor Sheik Mohamed bin Abdallah al-Soubayel noted that the Ethiopian Government has "adopted measures to improve conditions for the Moslem community in Ethiopia." He added that the delegation was seeking ways to extend religious teaching for the Moslems. The Governor also had talks with President Negasso Gidada.

Ethiopia pledges an anti-corruption undertaking:
Ethiopia has become the first African country to pledge an "anti-corruption undertaking" to the World Bank in order to get more loans from the institution. Dr. Kebede Tadesse, minister in charge of social and administration sub-sector in the office of the Prime Minister (speaking at the closing session of a training programme in investigative journalism) indicated that there were growing instances of corruption, which the government wished to address. Dr. Kebede pointed out that Ethiopia had begun to reform its civil service in 1996 after a study indicated several problems of ethics and organisation in the government. The World Bank Resident Representative, Nigel Roberts, said that the Ethiopian government had welcomed the help of the World Bank and others in diagnosing the extent and the root of corruption and support for training in investigative journalism was part of this effort. Dr. Kebede directed a comment to journalists to "try out" government officials. Meanwhile, the World Bank has agreed to loan US $79.59 million to Ethiopia for development projects. According to the Ethiopian Ministry of Economic Development and Co-operation (MEDAC), US $43.35 million will be used for education projects while US $36.24 million will go towards the national animal resource development project. The loan will be repaid in fifty years. Meanwhile, The African Development Bank (ADB) has agreed to loan US $83.5 million to Ethiopia to help repair and re-equip schools and to fund a livestock project meant to improve food security.

Ethiopia predicts rise in export earnings: The Minister of Trade and Industry, Kassahun Ayele has announced that Ethiopia is expecting to earn 4.9 billion birr (a nineteen percent rise) in the fiscal year 1998/99 from exports. The amount is equivalent to approximately US $660 million. The minister noted, however, that there was a negative trade balance and called on exporters to help bridge the gap. Coffee makes up 64 percent of Ethiopia's exports while hides and skins make up 22 percent.

Fuel shortage overcome: The National Fuel Co-ordinating Committee has announced that the country's fuel shortage has been overcome. The Committee disclosed that a problem had emerged early in November after Djiboutian and Ethiopian officials agreed that all trade and service exchanges between the two countries should be conducted by the citizens of the two countries alone. Subsequently, all Eritrean nationals engaged in these sectors, including those manning transport trucks, had to be replaced. The Committee disclosed the temporary shortage in tanker drivers was offset by the sufficient reserves at various fuel depots.

Development Assistance and Investment News

Ethiopia and Greece sign agreements: Ethiopia has signed tourism, economic and technological co-operation agreements with Greece. Ethiopian Foreign Minister, Seyoum Mesfin met with his Greek counterpart Theodore Pangalos to sign the agreements. While in Addis Ababa, Pangalos met with the Ethiopian Orthodox Patriarch. According to the Ethiopian Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Greece and Ethiopia will sign investment guarantee and the avoidance of double taxation accords. In a related story, Greece has signed a memorandum of understanding on the supply of 4,000 metric tons of durum wheat (worth about US $1.337 million) to Ethiopia. The aid was provided in the framework of Greece's structural food aid offered in the past few years to reduce Ethiopia's food gap and to provide budgetary support through the sale of the wheat.

European Commission supports campaign against harmful practices: The European Commission signed a financial agreement amounting to approximately US $ 240,000 with the National Committee on Traditional Practices of Ethiopia. The National Committee will use the money to create an information network to enable it to launch a publicity campaign against harmful traditional practices such as early marriage and female genital mutilation. The campaign will include the use of educational materials, amateur artists, and mass media personnel.

Japanese agency donates medical equipment: The Japanese International Co-operation Agency (JICA) has donated medical equipment valued at approximately US $160,000 to the Science and Technology Commission. A JICA representative said that the agency would make further such donations in the future and also organise technical training programmes for the staff of development organisations in Ethiopia. Meanwhile, the Japanese government signed a US $7.1 million grant agreement with Ethiopia for the purchase and transportation of agricultural chemicals, machinery, equipment and vehicles. The Japanese Government also gave a grant of US $74.2 million to the Ethiopian Roads Authority (ERA) which the authority said would be used to up-grade the 182 kilometre Addis Ababa-Goha Tsion road.

Germany grants aid: Ethiopia and Germany have signed technical co-operation agreements totalling US $26.89 million. Of the total, US $20.9 million is earmarked for ten current and four new projects. Other agreements concerning primary education and the Adaba Dola integrated forest management project, were part of pledges made in October 1997 at the Ethio-German inter-governmental negotiation.

World Vision opens hospital and expands programmes in the south: World Vision International Ethiopia (WVE) has inaugurated the Mehal Meda District Hospital, which was constructed and equipped with its support at a cost of approximately US $1.25 million. The hospital will provide health services for the 343,000 people in Gera Kenya and a surrounding 150 kilometre radius of North Shewa. The hospital includes maternal and child health treatment, surgical and medical wards, operation rooms, an X-ray lab, delivery suites, and a pharmacy. WVE has also announced its plan to undertake diverse development activities in the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples' State at an estimated cost of 90 million birr. The projects will be undertaken in ten weredas of Hadiya, Kambata Alaba Tembaro and Omo zones over the coming five years and will provide support for the State's food security programme. Other projects will include expansion and strengthening of rural infrastructural facilities, launching of capacity building programmes, construction of educational and health institutions and roads.

WFP provides food and money for nutrition projects: The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has announced it will provide 215,817 tons of food (worth US $90.2 million) and US $4.6 million in cash over the next five years to help support nutrition projects in Ethiopia. The food will be used for school feeding programmes involving 130,000 primary school pupils in the Afar, Amhara, Oromia and Tigray regions and in rural development programmes through a food for work scheme. The cash will go towards training staff and technical support and monitoring of the feeding programmes. The government has pledged to allocate US $27.8 million to go towards the local staffing and administration costs under the WFP plan.

New Ethio-Chinese Pharmaceutical plant: A private Ethiopian Agricultural and Industrial Investment Share Company and a state-owned Chinese firm are to build a pharmaceutical plant worth US $1.7 million near Debre Zeit town. The Ethiopian Investment Authority (EIA) announced that the plant, which will begin production next year, would produce up to 250 million tablets consisting of sixteen different types of medicine that are on the list of most essential drugs in Ethiopia. The Chinese Jiangxi Corporation for International Economic and Technical Co-operation holds fifty-five percent of the shares while the Ethiopian counterpart holds forty-five percent. The plant is the first of 20 proposed joint ventures to be implemented in the coming three years. Ethiopia and China have recently signed an investment security agreement.

Gold mining potential: A study conducted over 75,000 square kilometers has identified the existence of over 100,000 kilogrammes of gold and also 12,000 kilogrammes of platinum over a 1,000 square kilometre of land in four states (Oromia, Gambella, Benishangul-Gumuz, and the Southern Nations States). Meanwhile, the Ministry of Mines and Energy disclosed that sixteen investors (nine of which are local) have been given mining exploration licenses in six different states. According to the acting head of the mining ministry, the various investors have allocated approximately US $20 million for prospecting, exploration and production. The ministry also disclosed that during the past five years, other investors have launched mining projects with a combined capital of US $59 million. Most of these have completed the initial exploration and are ready to mine for gold and other base metals, salt, mineral water, and potash.

Agricultural News

Agricultural extension packages underway: The State agriculture bureau extension department of the Southern Nation's Nationalities and Peoples' State (SNNPS) announced that 660,310 farmers have joined the extension package programmes this year. The programmes include grain production, livestock development, coffee production, post-production technology, and soil and water conservation. Meanwhile, in the northern town of Mekele, 176,000 agricultural pilot projects have been undertaken this production year through the participation of 269,000 farmers (12,000 of which are women) in extension programmes. In related news, the General Manager of the National Seed Industry Agency (NSIA) announced that providing improved seed varieties in abundance was key to developing the agricultural sector. Speaking at the opening of a two day workshop at the Debre Zeit Management Institute on "Introducing seed regulation and promoting private sector participation in the seed industry", Dr. Getenet Gebeyehu pointed out that the government had passed, in March, a seed regulation proclamation (and directives on its implementation) which includes articles on quality control, seed certification, control of sales of seed, establishing seed testing stations, and import and export of seeds.

Pests and diseases: An infestation of beetles has been reported on 5,000 hectares of sorghum by the Oromiya Zone Agricultural Department in Amhara State. A crop protection expert announced that the department had already destroyed the beetles on 2,700 hectares and was using liquid and powder pesticide to contain the situation elsewhere. Meanwhile, close to 350,000 cattle and other domestic animals were vaccinated in the Somali State after a new outbreak of cattle disease. The disease, which is reported to have reached critical proportions, still requires a vigorous vaccination campaign in addition to the efforts made in the last three months. The General Manager of the South-eastern Rangeland Development Project, Abdu Rashid Sheik said that teams will be dispatched to the Liben, Afder, Fiq, Degahabur and Jigjiga Zones for the vaccination campaign. In a related story, Sasakawa Global 2000 is undertaking a study to strengthen "teff" stalks so as to keep the crop upright until harvest time and stop pre-harvest wastage. The organisation is also undertaking a project called "Conservation Tillage" in the Oromia and Southern Nations States which would enable farmers to reap harvest through a single tillage by spraying chemicals on weeds, sowing inline and utilising agricultural inputs.

Obsolete pesticides posing a problem: The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has signed a grant agreement providing US $1 million (which will run through December 31, 2000) with the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO). The money will go towards helping Ethiopia dispose of obsolete pesticides in accordance with international conventions on hazardous wastes and in an environmentally sound manner. There are 1,152 tons of obsolete pesticide and over 100 tons of contaminated equipment and soil in Ethiopia according to the Crop Production and Protection Technology and Regulatory Department of the Ministry of Agriculture. Head of the Department, Dr. Bateno Kabeto said that the large stock of pesticides in 256 major cities and towns is posing a serious health hazard and causing wide-spread environmental damage. He noted that pesticides have served as the only method of control for certain crop pests and the preferred method for such pests as the Desert Locust, the African Armyworm and Quelea birds.

Crop and Food Supply Assessment

The Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Commission (DPPC), has completed its assessment of food supply prospects for 1999. The full report was published on December 10 as an integral part of the Government of Ethiopia's annual appeal for relief assistance. The field assessment of this year's meher prospects were conducted over a three week period starting at the end of October. 12 teams were deployed to all crop-dependant areas of the country except Gambella and Benishangul-Gumuz. The teams held discussions with local officials at the regional, zonal and wereda level and met with farmers and extension workers. The teams included members from the DPPC, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Health, Ethiopia Mapping Agency, National Meteorological Services Agency, WFP, UNDP-EUE, and a number of donor and NGO representatives.

To avoid a repeat of the situation last year when there was some contradiction between the findings of the WFP-FAO mission and that of the Government, this year's assessments were made jointly using an agreed approach and common methodology. The approach used was predominately qualitative, with the teams using rapid rural assessment techniques, however, for the first time the teams also had access to certain wereda baseline cropping and other data to guide them in making their final assessment of food needs. Estimates of the relief food requirement were determined by three principal variables: number of beneficiaries, duration of assistance and ration rate.

In general, it was found that the overall performance of this year's meher crops has been favourable, with a much improved production from that of last year. Food availability even in the food insecure parts of the country is expected to improve considerably. Even so, in a number of areas, crop damages by drought, excessive rain, flooding and hailstorms were reported, and this is certain to have a negative impact of food security in some marginal areas. The main findings arising from the regional assessments as far as the major cropping areas is concerned, were as follows:

Tigray: The belg rains earlier in 1998 were poor, and this affected land preparation and the planting of long-maturing crops. The main, kiremt, rains although poor initially, were favourable as of mid-July. Most crops benefited and farmers were able to replant long-maturing maize and sorghum with short-cycle varieties. Food supply is expected is improve considerably in 1999 except in a few areas affected by excessive rains, pests and hailstorms. Other negative factors include the conflict with Eritrea which has prevented many farmers along the border from cultivating a crop and has restricted the normal mobility of labour which is so important to livelihoods of people in areas such as Humera.

Amhara: Though poor and late commencing in some areas, generally the kiremt rains were good. Despite some localised flooding and other problems mid-season, overall production is expected to be the best in recent years. On the other hand, a few heavily belg dependent areas which failed to produce enough last season will continue to be food insecure until the next harvest in May/June.

Oromiya: The performance of the main rains was considered favourable in almost all zones of this large region. The area planted was slightly higher than last year, and surplus production is expected in several weredas. Contrary to the overall picture, the low-lying areas of East and West Haraghe and Bale Zones and elsewhere were hit by drought during the year and little or no production is expected. In these areas destitution is widespread at the present time.

SNNPR: The meher season was generally favourable for both in terms of rains and crops, and a good harvest is expected in most areas. While a few areas like Konso may need closer monitoring, the crop growing areas of the region are expected to be at least self-supporting provided that there are no abnormalities in next year's belg crops.

The pastoral area assessment is expected to commence early in he new year. Meanwhile, according to information presently available it appears in the Afar Region rainfall was generally favourable, and the condition of water and pasture for livestock has improved. Localised inundation arising from the heavy rains in the highlands to the west were also of considerable benefit. In the Somali Region, the 1998 rains were generally poor, particularly in the eastern and south-eastern parts. A recent DPPC mission to the region has reported severe shortages of water and pasture and poor livestock condition in several areas, as well as signs of acute malnutrition and unusual migration. In the lowlands of Bale the situation is similar to that in the Somali region while the situation in Borena has yet to be determined. In two weredas of South Omo, serious food shortages have been reported.

According to the recently completed FAO/WFP Crop and Food Needs Assessment mission, at the national level Ethiopia is expected to enjoy a very good meher harvest this year, with total production of cereals significantly higher than last year and close to the 1996 aggregate figure of some 12 million tons. While more precise figures will be provided in the final report of the mission to be released by the end of the year, the team indicated that there will be a marketable surplus of around 300,000 to 400,000 tons. In addition to the generally favourable amount and distribution of rain, the mission felt that the increasing coverage of the national extension programme, availability of inputs, low pest damage and the dry/sunny weather during the harvest were also factors that have contributed to improved production this year. In making its calculations, the mission used a combination of Ministry of Agriculture and Central Statistical Office figures of production, and made its own field assessment based on visits to some 40 zones in the main cropping areas of the country.

1999 Food Relief Requirement

As a result of poor crop performance in some areas, the signals of stress from pastoral areas and the widespread displacement of people in the north, the Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Commission anticipate a total of 2,551,510 people will require some food assistance during the coming year. This is about half the number that required relief assistance in 1998 and includes 394,430 people affected by the conflict with Eritrea (displaced and those Ethiopians returned from Eritrea). Assuming only cereals and a ration rate of 15 kgs/person/month, the total food aid requirement is estimated at 260,652 tons of which 67,652 tons would be for the war affected. The duration of assistance varies from three months to nine months for those affected by natural factors such as drought, and twelve months for the displaced population. For Ethiopians having returned from Eritrea, nine months of rations will be given under the government's reintegration package. The table below provides a regional breakdown of the food requirement:

Table I: 1999 Affected Population and Food Aid Requirement

Region Affected Population Total Relief Requirement (MT)

Total Victims of Natural Disaster War-Affected Population

Tigray 703,275 373,030 330,245 95,692
Afar 23,909 - 23,909 4,235
Amhara 765,632 750,250 15,382 65,432
Oromiya 620,742 618,660 2,082 62,609
Somali 401,840 401,842 2 29,598.3
Benishangul/Gumuz 10 - 10 1.4
SNNPR 314 - 314 42
Gambella 1 - 1 0.4
Harari 13,313 13,300 13 800
Dire Dawa 58 - 58 7.8
Addis Ababa 19,614 - 19,614* 1,855
New Arrivals 2,800 - 2,800 378.1
Total 2,551,510 2,157,080 394,430 260,651

*Includes people displaced from Eritrea in 1991

By the end of December, 1998 the DPPC calculate that there will be about 36,833 tons of food pledged from 1998 that can be carried forward to 1999. The net additional requirement for which the Government of Ethiopia is requesting international assistance is, therefore, 223,818 tons.

As timely delivery of the required assistance will be critical, the DPPC has highlighted the availability of the Emergency Food Security Reserve, from which food can be borrowed against confirmed pledges. Noting the favourable harvest this year, the DPPC has also emphasised the desirability of procuring direct contributions and repayments to the reserve through local purchases of grain. Furthermore, it is hoped donors will consider purchasing food in Ethiopia for use in emergency operations in neighbouring countries. This is viewed as an important means of supporting the country in its drive to achieve food self-sufficiency.

Regional Contingency Plan for Displaced Persons in Tigray

Also presented at the 10 December appeal launch was a contingency plan to meet the humanitarian needs of displaced people in Tigray. Prepared by the Tigray regional administration, the plan considered two scenarios: (a) the current situation with a total of 315,976 people displaced by the conflict continues without major change for up to six months; and (b) war breaks out and effects people up to 40 kilometers from the border, under which circumstances it is estimated another 268,239 people would be displaced, including the populations of Adigrat and Adwa towns. Of the additional population at risk, 47,291 are in the Western Zone, 115,934 in the Central Zone and 105,014 in the Eastern Zone.

The authorities in Tigray have to date tried to avoid the formation of relief camps, preferring instead to encourage the displaced to find accommodation with relatives, friends and members of the host community among whom they find themselves. In spite of the hardships this has caused to both the displaced and their hosts, this policy has to a large extent worked well until now. If war does break out, however, the additional displacement of people might be too much for communities to absorb and the establishment of camps may become unavoidable.

Given the serious implications of the second scenario, with a substantial increase in the numbers of displaced combined with the formation of camps, the contingency plan largely focuses on the humanitarian needs that might arise in this situation; covering food, shelter, water, health and education.

Food requirements have been calculated assuming assistance is needed for a total of 12 months, i.e., until the next main season harvest in November/December 1999. With an estimated 10,755 tons of food already in-hand, the regional authorities calculate a requirement for an additional 64,591 tons if there are no further displacements, but this would increase to 128,625 tons under scenario two. In addition to the usual basic food basket, supplementary foods such as Famix, milk and biscuits have been included for children under five years of age and lactating and pregnant women, a group that would comprise up to 50 percent of the total population.

If further displacement takes place, the formation of temporary camps seems likely. In such a situation, additional shelter materials over and above the substantial quantity already supplied will be required. Under scenario two, among a number other household and other essential items, a need for more than 7,000 rolls of plastic, 160,000 blankets, 33,000 family tents and 20 Rubb Hall temporary storage tents is foreseen.

Water supply is seen as a critical component of the contingency plan. Many communities hosting the existing population of displaced people are already facing water shortages and any further displacement of people will increase the pressure on services even more. Due to the long lead time in constructing new water supply systems, the contingency plan envisages taking immediate measures to improve facilities at the identified settlement areas. A developmental approach is advocated that places the emphasis on the construction of permanent facilities such as boreholes, of which a need for at least 18 has been identified. The total cost of the construction of these water supply schemes and their operation for six months is estimated to be just under Ethiopian Birr 14 million (US $1.9 million). An additional Birr 2 million would be required for the construction of latrines and to provide environmental health services in any temporary shelters that might be required.

The importance of maintaining the continuity of education for school children is emphasised in the plan. Under the worst case scenario, as many as 79,000 students could become displaced. The region has identified possible locations of schools which can accommodate additional students and, where facilities are not sufficient, the plan envisages the construction and equipping of temporary schools. The cost, including the provision of exercise books and other essential materials, is estimated at just under Birr 5 million ( US $675,000).

The final component of the plan is health and nutrition. While as much as possible, existing community services will be strengthened to enable them to provide for the displaced population, under scenario two this may not be sustainable and the establishment of temporary clinics may be necessary. Staff for the clinics will be re-deployed from the 15 clinics and health posts near the border that have been closed as a result of the conflict, however, additional staff and equipment will be also required. Under the worst case scenario, a total of 42 temporary clinics will be needed, each one serving approximately 10,000 people. The basic costs (tents, beds, linen etc.) of setting-up these clinics is estimated at Birr 2.5 million (US $337,000), an amount that excludes drugs, surgical supplies, staff costs and logistic support.

According to the DPPC, a similar contingency plan is under preparation for the Afar region where at present some 24,000 people have been displaced by the conflict with Eritrea. The details of the plan will be conveyed to the donor community shortly.

Food Aid and Logistics

Food aid pledges and shipments

During the Greek Foreign Minister's visit to Ethiopia the Government of Greece announced a pledge of 4,000 tons of wheat to the Government of Ethiopia. The donation will be monetised with the aim to reduce the country's food gap as well as to provide budgetary support through the sale of the wheat. Also new to the list of 1998 pledges is 20,000 tons from the Government of Ethiopia. All 20,000 tons will be through local purchases with delivery due in early 1999. Tendering for the first allotment has already started.

Table II: Pledges against 1998 Food Aid Requirements - Cereals & Pulses

Relief Regular monetisation EFSR TOTAL

1998 pledges

USA 139,736 23,720 - - 163,456
EC 44,350 31,994 -
WFP 60,000 37,891 - - 97,891
Sweden 31,000 - - - 31,000
Germany 3,718 19,488 - - 23,206
UK 18,792 - - 18,792
Canada 1,000 11,765 - - 12,765
Greece - - 4,000 4,000
Denmark 740 900 - - 1,950
Ethiopia 20,000 - - - 20,000
Norway 1,950 - 1,950
Netherlands 10,000 - 10,000
TOTAL 331,286 125,758 4,000 50,000 510,754

Deliveries as of 08/12/98 200,496 60,338 4,000 - 264,834
Source: WFP Food Aid Status Report (8 December 1989)

With relief food deliveries against pledges still running at only about 60 percent there will be some carryover of 1998 stocks into 1999; however, as many of the forthcoming shipments will be used to repay the Emergency Food Security Reserve for previous loans, they will not be available for general distribution.

Port Operations and Logistics

The significant congestion problems that were expected to begin around the end of November/early December are now likely to begin in early January as offtake has remained good and arrival dates for several shipments have slipped. However, once stocks begin to build-up at the end of December there could be delays for food deliveries as current government policy is to give priority to fertiliser delivery. The basic problem at Djibouti remains the limited berths for bulk carriers, making food shipments and fertiliser shipments competitors for these berths. Although long-term plans to expand the port and medium-term efforts to make the third bulk berth fully functional will help solve the problem, the only short-term solution is to maximise discharge so that vessels are in and out of the berths as quickly as possible. Within the food aid community there has been a lively debate over the last few months over issues like "direct delivery" and which "system" maximises discharge, minimise truck turn-around time at the port while keeping costs to a minimum. In most cases there is no "right" answer as each vessel and each consignment can presents its own set problems. In general, however, it is felt that if the overall objective of maximising discharge is kept in mind then the best system will involve a combination of direct delivery, port storage and shuttle to out-of-port warehousing.

Emergency Food Security Reserve

Physical stocks at Emergency Food Security Reserve warehouses remain relatively low at 84,173 tons with an additional 29,033 tons under withdrawal. Outstanding balances, which are currently at about 169,000 tons, will be repaid through a combination of imports and local purchases. Low stocks at the EFSR should not present a problem at this time as main harvest has been very good this year, local purchase prospects are good and a number of shipments due at Djibouti over the next three months are for the EFSR.
Health and Nutrition

Polio eradication campaign: The Ministry of Health announced its plan to eradicate polio from Ethiopia within three years. The Children and Youth panel head, Hiywot Mengistu noted that children with acute flaccid paralysis were being registered and that a public awareness campaign was underway. The Ministry has organised three immunisation campaigns, two of which have already taken place with 9.1 million children inoculated.

Malaria on the rise: Malaria is affecting 500,000 and 171,000 people respectively in the East Shewa and South Gondar Zones of the Amhara region according to local health officials. An expert with the Shewa Health Department stated that mosquitoes were breeding along the Awash River where there were a number of irrigation development projects. He also noted that the disease had become resistant to available drugs and newer drugs, such as Fansidar, were too expensive for the local community. Meanwhile, according to health officials in South Gondar, only 33,000 of the 171,000 affected people had received medical attention. Reports also indicate that if preventive measures had been taken place right after the rainy season, the current situation may have been greatly minimised. Some of the preventive measures taken in the Zone include draining marshy areas and ponds and distributing medicine to some 45,000 people. Malaria has also been reported in Southern Tigray Zone were some 33,000 people have been infected.

Refugees and Returnees

Ethiopian refugees return from Kenya: The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has announced that it has started the voluntary repatriation of 2,500 Ethiopian refugees from Dadaab camp in north-eastern Kenya. They are being airlifted from Dadaab to the border with Ethiopia at Moyale. The operation is expected to take some five weeks to complete. The returnees are provided with a nine-month food ration (cereal and oil) and a small amount of cash for their transport after their six-year stay in Kenya. More than 50,000 Ethiopians fled to Kenya following the overthrow of Mengistu Haile Mariam in 1991.

Refugee Statistics (as of 30 September 1998)

West (Sudanese)East (Somalis)

Bonga12,662Hartisheik (A & B)31,389
Dimma 7,881Kebribeyah11,583

Dolo Odo 5,000
Dolo Bay 1,200Sub-total 203,631
Suftu 1,800
Sub-total 8,000
Moyale/Dokisso 8,270

North-east (Djiboutians)Addis Ababa

Afar Region 3,000Urban refugees 524


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); SCF (UK); UNICEF; UNHCR; WHO. Also media sources: The Ethiopian Herald; AFP; Walta Information Centre; ENA.

16 December 1998

UNDP-EUETel.: (251) (1) 51-10-28/29
PO Box 5580, Fax: (251) (1) 51-12-92

Addis Ababa, Ethiopiae-mail:

Editor: Ali B. Ali-Dinar,