Ethiopia is one of the World's poorest developing countries, with a per capita income of US $ 120. According to the UNDP Human Development Report for 1995, Ethiopia is ranked 171 in the human development index out of 174 countries. The average per capita calorie intake is only 73% of requirements and life expectancy is a mere 53 years.
FAO estimates that in order to meet government targets for improvement of calorie intake, and the rapidly increasing growth of the present population of 54.8 million people (current annual growth rate is between 3.0 and 3.2%), the net food requirement will be 10.694 million tons by the year 2000, as opposed to 7.4 million tons today. Food grain production will have to increase at an annual rate of 5.82% to reach the required gross production level needed to fulfill the net food requirement.
The tenth largest country in Africa, Ethiopia shares frontiers with Sudan, Djibouti, Somalia, Kenya, and since 1993, with Eritrea. The vast highland plateau which forms the heart of the country is divided by the deep Rift valley, which runs from north to south. The highlands, with sometimes irratic rainfall, have been the home of settled agriculture for many centuries. In the lower areas, tropical cereals, oil seeds, coffee and cotton are the dominant crops, while at the higher altitudes temperate cereals, fruits and pulses are produced.
Over 80% of the population are engaged in agricultural activities which are largely dependent on timely and sufficient rains with irrigated crops contributing only a very small portion of the total production. Coffee provides over 56% of the countries exports earnings, followed by grain, skins and hides and to a lesser extent livestock. The tiny industrial sector, which is dominated by the public sector, accounts for only 10-12% of GNP, and is primarily engaged in the production of cement, textiles, and processed foods.
Over the past three decades, Ethiopia has experienced a number of severe droughts and a protracted civil war, resulting in countless deaths and maiming, as well as the displacement of many communities. Traditional coping mechanisms have been exhausted, and extreme hardship prevails throughout most parts of the country.
Despite the success of the demobilisation programme initiated in 1991 and the rehabilitation of many other war displaced persons, some major refugee and repatriation problems remain to be urgently addressed. Additionally, the rapidly growing population will lead to an even greater scale of both rural and urban poverty, unless major rehabilitation programmes are implemented.
Since coming to power in June 1991, the Government of Ethiopia has striven to escape from the old dependency on international relief and to gradually move towards a genuine national self - sufficiency. As part of their decentralisation policy, aimed at community empowerment, the Government has re-organised Ethiopia's regions along ethnic lines, whereby powers and functions are devolved from the centre to the regions, and from the regions to the zones and woredas. In relation to emergency relief activities, the new decentralised framework operates in such a way that developing and implementing relief measures have become the responsibility of the regional authorities.
Additionally, several policies have been originated by the Government, which together constitute an excellent strategy to reduce Ethiopia's dependency on massive food aid. The first of such policies is the Government's National Programme for Food Production (1993/94 - 1997/98) which has placed the attainment of an increased food intake per person (90% of which is envisaged to come from domestic production) at the centre of it's agricultural development strategy.
In October 1993, the Government launched the National Policy on Disaster Prevention and Management which sets out policy guidelines for all the government agencies and delineates functions and powers of institutions at all levels for implementing disaster prevention and preparedness activities. Essentially the policy states that Ethiopia is determined to provide emergency assistance in ways that will support recovery and long term development; provide employment based safety net programmes and seek improved coordination and management of relief resources assistance.
It is clear that the task ahead in achieving these objectives is immense, because underpinning all considerations of moving Ethiopia from relief dependency to rehabilitation/reconstruction to development is the stark reality that all these determined efforts can be severely disrupted by just one season of inadequate rainfall. Moreover, given the country's small export base and substantial import needs, the balance of payments situation is unlikely to enable the country to pay for any anticipated food import needs, in even a year of good rainfall. It appears likely therefore, that some form of food aid will be required at least until the year 2,000.
Given the scale of rehabilitation, re-integration and reconstruction needed, an integrated response by the Government in partnership with donors, international organisations and NGOs is essential. A central feature of this response will be government led community based programmes, heavily focused on increasing agricultural production and featuring imaginative uses of food aid.
The sustained long term and generous commitment of the donor community
to these programmes will help to ensure, and greatly expedite, this drive
towards national recovery.
The FAO/WFP Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission Report for Ethiopia of December 1995 indicated that in 1996 the country, with approximately 15% increase in agricultural production, would be in the unique position of being largely self-sufficient in food at the national level, with surpluses in the main producing areas. Nevertheless, the mission estimated that access to food would continue to be a problem for between 2 to 3 million people, particularly in the traditionally food deficit parts of Tigray, Welo, Welayita and Hararghe. Asset-poor farmers in these areas have limited access to cultivable land and insufficient purchasing power to meet their food requirements from the market of to buy farm inputs necessary to improve productivity. This situation is further aggravated by localised production failures, concentrations of displaced persons and the limited capacities of these areas to achieve household food self-sufficiency, even in good years, due to structural and climatic limitations and lack of alternative employment.
The FAO/WFP mission estimated that 290,658 tons of emergency food aid would be needed in 1996 to cover the needs of the affected population that are most food insecure. (1). Reflecting the good 1995 meher harvest, the relief requirment for 1996 decreased to less that three quarters of the 1995 requirement of 427,000 tons. It has been established both by the FAO/WFP mission and the Government's 1996 appeal that the majority of the current year's needs can be covered from in-country carry over stocks, carry over pledges from 1995 and local purchases in Ethiopia.
The combination in 1996 of a good national food supply situation and a simultaneously high level of localised chroninc food insecurity necessitates a different approach to relief assistance than in past years. Relief food aid will be required for vulnerable population groups that have inadequate access to food from the market or from their own resources. On the other hand, relief in 1996 will have to be implemented in a manner that contributed to the stabilitsation of cereal prices and supports local markets. Grain prices have continued to fall as the main meher crops comes to the market. An erosion of farm gate prices as a result of a good harves would be a disincentive for Ethiopian farmers to improve agricultural production in coming years. It would also make it difficult for farmers to repay loans taken for the purchase of farm inputs. To avoid such a detrimental effect to agricultural economy of Ethiopia, the Government has appealed to donors to purchase all relief grain locally in 1996.
The current situation and positive trend in Ethiopia also allows
the Government to concentrate on the non-food capacity component of the
1996 appeal, which emphasises capacity building at the decentralised levels
for the implementation of the National Policy on Disaster Prevention and
The National Policy of Disaster Management and the Directives for Disaster Prevention and Management, which were promulgated in November 1993, form the backbone of the government's mechanism for handling relief operations in the future. A key element of these two policy papers is the use of relief inputs as development tools and the Directives form the link between relief operations and rehabilitation/development.
Although the Directives are the "blue print" for future relief operations, as was seen during the 1994 emergency, there is still a gap between theory and practice. In the coming months and years the Government, UN system and donor/NGO community will have to work together to make this innovative approach a reality. Particularly important will be how best to use the vast experience of local and international NGOs in the move from straight relief to relief as a development tool.
Approaches in the coming year could include:
coordination of food and non-food inputs through policy discussions, multi-year donor/programme commitments and accurate food aid information systems;
standardisation and use of common distribution and targeting mechanisms as well as local purchases as a lever to stabilize food prices, employment generation schemes using a flexible approach to make food aid more productive, safety net programmes to assure assistance to the most vulnerable groups and area based integrated programmes to involve the communities in the decision making process;
strengthening of common infrastructure systems such as the Early Warning System and Emergency Food Security Reserve; and,
establishing a national disaster prevention and preparedness fund, seed reserves and tool depots.
The Government has also adopted a Programme Approach to development and within this framework multi-sectoral interventions to alleviate the effects of natural disasters and enhance capacities at the individual, household, community and national levels have been embodied in a National Programme on Disaster Prevention, Preparedness and Mitigation. The National Programme documents articulate the means by which Government intends to fulfil its objectives of moving away from a dependence on relief aid to sustainable, long-term development and building on an effective disaster preparedness and response capability.
Although there is substantial documentation for this long-term programme and these programmes form part of the natural linkage between the relief system and longer term development, much remains to be done both in terms of mobilising resources and implementation if this programme is to be successful.
Food aid appeal
Following the assessments conducted by the Relief and Rehabilitation Commission (RRC) and the joint FAO/WFP Food and Crop Needs Assessment Mission in November, the Government of Ethiopia issued its appeal for food aid and non-food assistance on 16 December. The 1996 appeal is threefold, concentrating on food supply prospects for the coming year, assistance requirements for disaster prevention and preparedness activities and an assessment of current capacities and needs in the sectors of employment generation schemes and early warning.
The Government's food aid appeal recognises that the 1995 meher season harvest production has been exceptionally good, reducing the relief requirements for 1996 by about 54% from the previous year. Nevertheless, the it forsees that a total of 2,261,700 people will still require relief assistance in the traditionally food insecure areas of Ethiopia. The affected population are principally located in the areas of Tigray, Welo, North Shewa, East and West Hararghe, Gonder and North Omo. The appeal places the amount of relief food required for these beneficiaries at 253,111, excluding requirements for pastoral and urban areas. As relief needs are expected to be lower than that of the last few years, it is anticipated that surplus production in the western parts of the counry, available in-country carry over stocks and carry over pledges from 1995 could offset a large part of the relief needs through local purchases in Ethiopia.
Non-food emergency needs
The main objective of non-food emergency requirements for 1996, according to the appeal, is the containment of disease outbreaks and provision of shelter material for emergency preparedness measures. This is particularly valid in light of the widespread outbreak of malaria and other epidemics in 1995 and the occurrence of floods in many areas. Priority non-food interventions in 1996 concentrate on the areas of health (rehabilitation, re-equipment and proper staffing of health facilities in priority zones through key activities such as immunization and oral rehydration therapy); nutrition (supplementary feeding and rehabilitation programmes where low nutritional status exists); water and sanitation (rehabilitation and construction of water sources to relieve the pressures of scarcity), education (shool rehabilitation programmes) and shelter material and tools (building in-country stocks of shelter material and tools for rapid deployment during emerencies). The Government appeal has requested $4,656,091 in support of these interventions.
Capacity building at the decentralised level
In addition to the appeal for food aid and non-food assistance, an appeal to enhance the Government's capacity was made. This appeal touched on the urgent need for assistance to enhance and strengthen capacities at the regional, zonal and wereda level to implement the main elements of the National Policy for Disaster Prevention and Management (NPDPM). A total of $15,117,780 was requested for the main interventions under this component, which includes strengthening the institutional capacity for implementing Employment Generation Schemes, strengthening the Early Warning System, training and familiarisation of the National Policy, building a seed reserve, establishing the emergency preparedness fund and strengthening regional information systems.
Employment Generation Schemes (EGS) and the Early Warning System, as the cornerstones of the policy, will need to be especially supported in the coming year. The Government's appeal emphasises this as well as the need to develop physical and human resource capacities and infrastructural needs (relief food outlets and hand tool depots) in carrying out EGS activities.
Capacity building for the implementation of the NPDPM
The main objective of the National Policy on Disaster Prevention and Management is to address the many problems faced by the large majority of Ethiopians and reduce the high vulnerability of the population to the effects of disaster. It highlights the need is for a community based approach to disaster mitigation and the use of relief resources to meet development objectives, primarily focussing on capacity building at the local level, giving priority to the development of regional relief plans, building a capacity to design, manage and evaluate labour-intensive Employment Generation Schemes and strengthening the decentralisation of the national early warning system.
The policy directives emphasise the basic principles of prevention and preparedness linkage, inter-sectoral integration, the conditions for declaration of disasters, relief planning, establishment of food delivery systems as well as additional complementary measures. One of the main departures of this new direction is the effort to link relief with development through Eemployment Generation Schemes. However, such a major undertaking requires multi-sectoral preparedness and capacity building measures including an enhanced decentralised information and early warning system; a strengthened food security reserve, logistical capacity and relief food outlets; the establishement of a national prevention and preparedness fund; manpower development and utilisation of resourcess; and public awareness capmpaigns and training. Moreover, for the effective implementation of the National Policy, preparation of area-specific guidelines and manuals should be given appropriate attention.
Although in 1994 the main focus of the efforts of the Goverment and its partners was geared to tackling the emergency situation in the country and averting the recurrence of another famine, with the start of the second year of policy implementation in 1995 attention was focussed on linking relief to development and implementing the National Policy. The main activities undertaken in 1995 in this regard were:
The National Policy has been well publicised throughout the country through commemorative events held in February-March 1995, marking the plight of the victims of the 1984/85 famine in Ethiopia. Familiarisation programmes were initiated at the regional level to introduce decision makers to the concepts, principes and major directions of the policy, and training programmes were held on the Policy, in particular, and disaster management, in general.
The Early Warning System's field structure was re-established through the training and posting of over 400 agricultural extention workers at the wereda level.
Measures were undertaken by the Government to raise the capacity of the Food Security Reserve Administration, including the construction of a large number of warehouses to meet the short term target of the reserve.(2)
The Government initiated the first steps towards establishing the National Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Fund, allocating a total of fifty million Ethiopian Birr as seed mony for this purpose, and starting the process for a more detailed study on the building and mangement of the fund.
Employment Generation Schemes were implemented by Government partners a number of pilot regions, and in order to bring about a clarification of concepts and methodologis, a workshop was conducted and experiences were shared.
In terms of logistical capacity building, a logisitics master plan was discussed and is in the process of preparation. This plan will be a key instrument in increasing the effectiveness of relief programmes. Preparations are also nearly complete for the construction of thirty seven small warehouses which would serve as relief outlets at the wereda level. The Government is also at the final stage of establishing a strategic relief fleet.
The Government and, specifically, the Commission for Disaster Prevention and Preparedness, fully recognise that the effective implementation of the National Policy required the full support of different partners. Therefore, the CDPP endeavours to create an enabling environment for all partners to participate in the implementation of the various aspects of the Policy. Formation of multi-sectoral working groups focusing on nine prevention and preparedness aspects have been among the efforts of the year. Activities undertaken by these working groups, comprised of government, donor and international community representatives, have helped in the identification of cross-programme linkages, thereby fostering complementarity and the provision of expertise.
It is clear that there were numerous initiatives, and yet more remains to be done. The above-described activities are only the first steps in the initial phase of laying the groundwork for full implementation of the National Policy. It is believed that the different measures taken since the formulation of the Policy would ease some of the problems constraining its execution. The major constraint, however, is yet to be addressed - the build up and strengthening of regional capacities for implementing different aspects of the National Policy.
The regional capacity building required is multi-dimensional, and the realities attest to the fact that the capacity has to be built over time and on priority basis. Due to their primary importance and the low level of prevailing capacities, the Government has chosen Employment Generation Schemes and the Early Warning System as the two main areas of focus for capacity building in 1996.
Employment Generation Schemes Employment Generation Schemes are labour-intensive work schemes that form the cornerstone of the National Policy. EGS modalities are multi-sectoral and complex, and their implementation neccessitates efficient coordination between the different sectoral institutions involved and non-governmental bodies. At the present time, EGS are implemented in pilot regions and are severely hampered by limited human resource availability. To overcome the existing shortage of manpower in the regions in implementing EGS, technical personnel will have to be adequately trained and deployed at all levels. In addition to human resource development, physical capacities will also have to be strengthened at the central and decentralised levels, as meaningful EGS activities can only be undertaken when such capacities are built. In 1996, capacity building efforts for EGS will focus on: 1) physical and human resource capacity development for implementing pilot and regular Employment Generation Schemes; and 2) infrastructural development through establishing relief food outlets and tool depots.
The Early Warning System The Early Warning System Throughout its long existence, the Early Warning System in Ethiopia has been highly centralised. The role of the regions has been marginal, collection of data to be forwarded to the centre for analysis and reporting. Within the decentralised government structure, however, fully functioning early warning units are expected to be established at the wereda, zonal and regional levels, providing adequate and timely information for effective disaster prevention and preparedness. Most of the presently existing units are seriously constrained by a lack of qualified personnel, logistical support and equipment required for proper analysis of data. In 1995, the CDPP was supported by several donors in strengthening the regional early warning capacities. Funding was provided by UNICEF and UNDP for immediate needs. Although these commitments have assisted the regions, the funding has been limited and wide gaps remain to be covered in the coming years. The Government's strategy to strengthen the human and physical resource capacity of the drought prone regions will focus on: 1) ensuring that qualified and well-trained staff are available; 2) developing mechanisms to refine existing early warning indicators; 3) strengthening the flow of information and data analysis capabilities; and, 4) strengthening existing early warning units through logistical support and physical inputs.
However, apart from the major focus of capacity building in 1996, the need to formulate other important priority components were mentioned in the appeal document as:
a) The Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Fund
The National Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Fund is meant to serve as a counterpart fund to cover regional funding shortfalls of the non-food components of EGS and related activities. The fund will provide withdrawal rights to regions to support relief programmes based on prioritised needs in the event that such programmes are not fully resourced from regular budget sources. To establish the fund, the Government has allocated $7.3 million, whereas a pledge of $50,000 has been secured from the Irish Government.
b) Establishment of a seed reserve for drought prone areas
Although reserving seed from every season's harvest is and age-old practice of Ethiopian farmers, consecutive years of drought and famine have considerably reduced their capacity to do so, thus, forcing the affected farmers to be dependent on relief. In view of this, the NPDPM envisages that a seed reserve amounting to 20% of the total annual seed requirement of vulnerable areas, be established.
c) Strengthening the regional information system
Strengthening the Early Warning System, which is one component of the information network, is required for disaster management. A good information system is also required for the response mechanisms to work effectively. It is noted that the CDPP is building up a management information system for use by the centre, most of which would subsequently be duplicated at regional levels. It is mentioned that the capacity to gather the data from grass root level, as well as the capacity to compile and analyse the data for use at regional and zonal level.
Training is also equally important in the work of awareness creation at the zonal and wereda levels of line departments and local communities that have key roles in the implementation of the National Policy. It has become apparent that training programmes on techniques of disaster prevention and management should be given to technical personnel at the grass root levels, a process that will be instigated in 1996.
Assessment of exsiting capacities for the implementaion of the NPDPM
The Government's commitment to making concrete progress towards implementing the National Policy on Disaster Prevention and Management and its directives for prevention and preparedness takes into consideration that existing capacities and training mechanisms in the country need to be reinforced and expanded in order to create a self-sustaining capacity for disaster management in Ethiopia.
With relief operations and a satisfactory 1995 harvest helping to improve food security in most parts of Ethiopia, with the possible exception of certain pocket areas, the Government is now concentrating efforts on capacity building issues, both in support of local level relief implementation and early warning capacity, and to improve targeting and delivery of relief assistance in the country.
To this end, in October 1995, the Commission for Disaster Prevention and Preparedness initiated an assessment mission tasked with the responsibility to review the existing capacties of the Government at the regional, zonal and wereda levels for implemention of the NPDPM and more specifically, in terms of Employment Generation Schemes (EGS) and early warning. The assessment focussed on the drought prone and food deficit areas of the Tigray, Afar, Amhara, Oromia, Somali, Benishangul and Gambella Regions as well as the Southern Peoples National Regional State (SPNRS).
With the implementation of the Policy, which started in 1994, many gaps were expected or partially known already. The aim of the assessment was therefore to clearly describe these gaps in order to obtain a picture of the actual situation and propose appropriate solutions. Furthermore, it was expected to establish a strategy to make the optimal use of existing resources and to elaborate an action plan for enhancing disaster management capacity. In particular, the team was to identify the specific problems hindering the implementation of Employment Generation Schemes. The assessment was conducted using a qualitative approach to identify existing capacities, gaps and basic requirements in order to elaborate appropriate approaches and startegies to reach short-term operational stage of adequate quality, making optimal use of existing resources.
In concluding the assessment the recommendations of the assessment mission were forwarded to the CDPP and incorporated into the 1996 appeal. The crux of the recommendations emphasises the need to develop a more efficient performance in terms of awareness creation and familiarisation of the National Policy, as well as the appropriate and more coordinated use of material, financial and human resources.
LINKING RELIEF TO DEVELOPMENT
For many donors, governments and aid organizations, the experience of dealing with emergencies over the past few years has highlighted the importance of developing programme and funding strategies that both address immediate humanitarian needs and are supportive of concurrent and subsequent efforts aimed at creating conditions conducive to recovery and sustained development. In Africa, the continuing trend of crisis throughout the continent is perceived as bleeding aid money away from development as donors attempt to address the ever-mounting relief needs. Many fear that, if planned and implemented in isolation, such humanitarian interventions will steadily replace development and breed long-term dependencies, undermine indigenous coping strategies and, in the long term, actually increase vulnerabilities.
The idea of linking relief and development is not new. The vocabulary can be traced back in the international policy-related literature for at least a decade, and its constituent parts (relief works, for example) for over a century. Linking relief and development, in various forms, was an important theme emerging from the analysis of the food crisis in Africa in the 1980s and in 1987 was adopted as a central pillar in the formulation of a national disaster prevention and preparedness strategy for Ethiopia (ratified by the Transitional Government of Ethiopia in November 1993 as the National Policy for Disaster Prevention and Management).
In Ethiopia, as in many countries in Africa affected by long-term emergencies, the sharp division between development and relief has become unsustainable, as the experience of living with high risk becomes ever more central to poor people themselves. It is for this reason that the Government of Ethiopia has given such high priority to the practical implementation of the National Policy for Disaster Prevention and Management which embodies numerous provisions for linking relief food to the attainment of long-term development objectives, the decentralization of management structures, the empowerment of local communities and the integration of Government and international community programmes designed to alleviate the effects of poverty.
The key to linking relief and development from the development point of view is to find ways of reducing (a) the frequency and intensity and (b) the impact of shocks (in the case of Ethiopia, this essentially means rain failures) which will in turn reduce the need for emergency relief. Reducing the frequency and intensity of shocks can be influenced by government and donor policies. In the past, the subsistence farmer eking out a living on the Ethiopian highlands was chronically vulnerable to all manner of government-induced shocks in addition to facing the perennial risk of drought. Since coming to power in 1991, the reformist policies of the Government have begun to tackle these man-made problem. Much is still to be done but the nation is now in a much better position to address the root causes of famine than ten years ago.
Reducing the impact of shocks, both those of the natural kind and those that are man-made, means making individuals, households and economies both less vulnerable and more resilient. It is at the household and community level that the Government is placing the main emphasis of its disaster prevention and mitigation programme. Interventions will include empowerment of local administrative structures, giving them more control of both development and relief resources, the improvement of agricultural extension services and providing better access to improved varieties of seed, tools and farming technologies. The strategy also envisages employment generation, environmental protection, assistance with the diversification of income-earning opportunities and interventions designed to improve health and nutrition. The main objective of the programme is to aid the "drought-proofing" of the agricultural sector, both against the immediate shock of lower production and against the impact of higher food prices and/or deteriorating terms of trade between food and what peasant farmers (and the rural landless) themselves sell (labour, animals).
Two conditions must be met for a developmental approach to relief. The first, and minimum, condition is that relief should not undermine development. This may mean intervening early to preserve livelihoods or, more generally, to safeguard assets. Under the National Programme for Disaster Prevention, Preparedness and Mitigation particular emphasis is placed on protecting the assets of farmers in marginal areas, through various interventions designed to increase the responsiveness of the national relief system to emerging food problems. These will include strengthening the food security reserve to enable a more rapid and flexible response to a crisis, the formation of farm tool and seed banks, and the establishment and strengthening of a national employment generation scheme that combines food-for-work and cash-for-work with a range of off-the-shelf projects that can be implemented quickly during times of crisis. The policies of the Government, as articulated in various documents produced by the Commission for Disaster Prevention and Preparedness, emphasize the decentralization of the national early warning and relief management structures and the incorporation of development objectives into future relief operations. This is, of course, all very easy to say but will be difficult to achieve. It is recognized that such an approach will place an enormous administrative and technical burden on the regional bureaux of the various line ministries, including the CDPP. This is why the Government is placing such a priority over the coming year on capacity building and training at the central, regional, zonal and woreda levels.
The second condition is that relief operations should contribute as much as possible to development. Relief food and supplies can also be turned into an investment subsidy if programmed wisely. Examples of this include using relief food as a payment for development works such as soil conservation activities, the planting of trees and building of feeder roads. Also, emergency resources can be used for the construction of water supplies that will benefit communities long after the drought has finished as would the repair and equipping of clinics and health centres.
Historically, much less attention has been paid to recovery and rehabilitation than to other aspects of linking relief and development. However, the process of rehabilitation and recovery is crucial to the future prosperity of a country like Ethiopia, where the rural population and the national economy is still highly vulnerable to the effects of drought. A well designed rehabilitation programmes, particularly those that are phased over several years and aimed at support for the agricultural sector, the settlement of displaced persons and the development of social services, can do much more than simply re-establish the status quo. Successful rehabilitation programmes depend on the same basic developmental principles already outlined: working with and through local institutions; consultation with local people about their perceptions and needs; and where possible, linking rehabilitation work with existing and related programmes.
It is recognised, however, that rehabilitation projects have to take into account the fact that the needs of people whose livelihoods have been devastated by drought and/or war are often barely distinguishable from the needs of those living in absolute poverty and who perhaps face a "permanent emergency". The policies of the Ethiopian Government have been formulated to take into account the reality that in many situations, relief, rehabilitation and development activities must take place simultaneously and that the distinctions between the three, intentionally, should become somewhat blurred - reflecting the wide range of linkages that should, and must, exist.
It is in the realm of fund-raising, however, that the hope for successful recovery and rehabilitation meets its main challenge. In many cases, efforts to link relief and development are impeded by donor policies and regulations which maintain a rigid separation between the two. For most NGOs and UN agencies, as well as governments, funding pure relief interventions at the time of a clear humanitarian crisis is never a major concern. Likewise, although the formulation process and reporting requirements are more lengthy and restrictive, raising money for development is relatively straight forward and follows well-established procedures. The problem is in finding support for projects which span the interface of the two -- the recovery-rehabilitation phase -- and which fall outside the traditional categories of donor funding. In Ethiopia, although many donors are working towards linking relief and development, progress is slow, and a "funding gap" exists which needs to be overcome if the concept is to show practical fruition.
Ethiopia is emerging from yet another brush with famine -- the result of a poor main harvest in 1993 and the failure of the Belg rains in 1994. Ways are being sought in which the momentum built up through the recent relief effort can be used to give new impetus to plans to help rehabilitate communities affected by drought and reduce their vulnerability to famine. As described above, in keeping with the notion that relief and development can be linked, a number of programmes have been formulated by line ministries, UN agencies and NGO community which will extend in 1996 and contain elements of relief and short-term recovery during the initial phase before moving on to tackle more traditional long-term development objectives. Such projects are innovative and among the first attempts in Ethiopia at bridging the gap between pure relief and long-term development. However, unless the relief to development funding-gap can be adequately overcome such projects are likely to be confined to the usual short-term time frame considered normal for "emergency" rehabilitation, and consequently will do little to break the cycle of despair.
Addressing the funding-gap requires a new dialogue between donors, Government and the operational agencies including the UN, NGO community and line ministries. This should focus on the need for flexibility in both programming and funding during the transition from relief to development and aim to instil the principle of multi-year financing for rehabilitation as well as for development.
1. 0 This figure is not much different from that issued by the Government in its appeal of 15 December, as the Government's food aid requirements estimate did not include urban destitutes and pastoral areas.
2. 0 The EFSR short term target of 205,000 tons has been raised to a medium term target of 307,000 for 1996.