Emergencies Unit for Ethiopia


Prepared by the Information Sectionof the UNDP Emergencies Unit for Ethiopia from information provided by UN agencies and NGOS

Table of Contents 



Assessment of relief and regular requirements in 1996

The annual joint FAO/WFP Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission is scheduled to arrive in Ethiopia on 6 November (FAO) and 13 November (WFP). The mission will estimate the production of the 1995 meher season cereals and pulses crop, forecast the 1996 belg production, estimate national food import requirements in 1996 and assess food aid needs for the year. The mission members, who are expected to complete their work in Ethiopia in early December, will visit the main cereal producing zones of the country and traditional food deficit areas that may require assistance in 1996. During the assessment, they will carry out crops inspections and market surveys in the different areas, meet with Government officials at regional, zonal and wereda levels as well as farmers, traders, field officers of NGOs and donor representatives.

Preceding the arrival of the FAO/WFP mission, several studies have been undertaken on the indigenous crop enset (false banana) and livestock products as a staple food supply in the Southern Peoples National Regional State and pastoral regions, respectively. The results of the studies will assist in determining the food and crop needs for the coming year.

At the same time, discussions have been held regarding the participation of interested donors and NGOs in both the forthcoming assessment. Representatives of both the donor and NGO communities have been invited to participate as observers in the field visits as well as in discussions on various aspects of the mission's work in Addis Ababa. The FAO/WFP mission will issue its report in mid-December.

Government 1996 appeal

In preparation for the Government 1996 appeal, food and non-food needs assessments were started in mid-October. These assessments are to converge with the FAO/WFP mission's findings, with the aim of presenting a common view on the coming year. The 1996 appeal is expected to focus on food aid, non-food assistance, and capacity building for prevention and preparedness.

The CDPP, in an effort to more fully involve the international partners in the appeal process, has already had separate meetings with the UN system, the NGOs and the donors on the 1996 appeal. These meetings will be followed by a half day workshop at the end of November with the various international partners to highlight some of the main issues underlying the 1996 appeal and to continue dialogue on the issues of capacity building and preparedness.


Wereda elections

Preparations are ongoing for the registration of voters in the upcoming wereda (district level) elections scheduled for early November. The progress of registration was, however, slightly hampered by shortage of equipment and necessary election materials and documentation. The campaigning of candidates has also been restricted by a lack of resources.

Parliament reconvenes in Ethiopia

The first annual session of the Ethiopian Parliament (according to the Ethiopian calendar) met on 9 October, after a one month break. Parliament meetings are to be held twice a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, during which time the legislatures will work on the development of national policies and laws.

UN 50th anniversary

A series of events were jointly organised by the Government of Ethiopia and the UN agencies in Ethiopia to marked the 50th anniversary of the United Nations. The objective of the celebrations was to reflect on past UN activities, its current role and vision for the future.

The Ethiopian Prime Minister, Meles Zenawi, also attended the celebrations in the United States, representing the Government of Ethiopia and meeting with the US President and government officials to discuss the current situation in Ethiopia, the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), activities that have been planned by IGADD following the June heads of state meeting and areas for future collaboration between the two countries. In addition, the Ethiopian Prime Minister addressed a gathering of politicians, diplomats and business executives at the African at the Centre for Strategic and International Affairs on the issues of democratisation, diversity and privatisation in Ethiopia.


UN support to the revitalisation of IGADD

The UN Steering Committee continues its work in support of the revitalisation process of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Drought and Development (IGADD). Among the measures so far taken by this committee is the finalisation of the UN data base of projects for Ethiopia. Work has also commenced on the compilation of information for Kenya and Somalia, expected to be finalised by mid-November. From discussions with agencies in these countries it has been agreed that the data base would be a useful tool in helping both the UN and IGADD to identify programming gaps in the Horn of Africa, enhance collaboration and coordination mechanisms and obtain a broader view of ongoing activities in the IGADD sub-region.

The proposed workshop on the harmonisation of sub-regional activity areas has also been postponed until after the heads of state summit.

Seminars and workshops in Addis Ababa

The following meetings were held in Addis Ababa during the month of October:

Two workshops were organised by UNHCR, one on "Tools and Strategies for Needs Assessment and Management of Food and Nutrition", and the second on "Commodity Distribution Guidelines". The former was a technical workshop on nutrition issues, whereas the latter was held with the objective of bringing together the experts in distribution of food and non-food items from UNHCR, WFP and Non-Governmental Organisations. Using the draft UNHCR guidelines on distribution, the participants reviewed the broad principles that should govern distribution systems, including details of formats and guidelines.

A workshop organised by the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) was held 4-6 October. This meeting was organised following the 1994 evaluation of SIDA-funded relief activities in the Horn of Africa to assess the practical utility of ideas brought together through the evaluation report. Participants included representatives from the Government and donor, UN and NGO communities.

In October, the Inter-Africa Group jointly organised two workshops, one with the International Alert on Regional Mechanisms for Early Warning and Preventive Diplomacy in Africa (9-11 October), and the other an international consultation on NGO Humanitarian and Food Assistance in the Greater Horn of Africa (23-27 October), organised together with Save the Children (US). The first meeting was to facilitate the process of establishing focal points for early warning and preventive action among NGOs. The second workshop was a gathering of representatives from the international community to discuss humanitarian assistance in emergency and conflict situations, the role of NGOs in the Greater Horn, the emergency needs assessment methodology and working models and future approaches.


Weather update

According to the National Meteorological Services Agency (NMSA) weather assessment report, the 1995 long cycle rain season (Kiremt) has been generally good except in pocket areas that experienced shortages, heavy rainfall, late onset or early withdrawal of rains.

The Bega season is the period during which the southern parts of the country receive their second modal rains (1)

from late September to mid-November. This year, the season seems to have started on time, with most pastoral areas receiving rainfall. However, the impact of the rains on grazing land can only be assessed in early 1996.

Pest infestations

During the 1995 cropping season, there have been no reports of significant pest infestations except the localised outbreaks of stalk borer and quelea and other grain eating birds. Anticipated movements of locust to Ethiopia from adjacent areas in Eritrea did not materialise due to effective control measures undertaken by the Desert Locust Control Organisation (DLCO). The FAO Locust Situation Update also indicates that swarms of locust escaping from the control operations in Eritrea and Central and Southern Sudan are currently moving further east towards the winter breeding sites along the Red Sea coastline and are not likely to threaten Ethiopia in the coming months.

In early October, control measures against large populations of quelea and other grain eating birds were carried out in the southern and eastern parts of the country, particularly in Konso, Arba Minch, Gindolo, Fedis, Gode and Jijiga. Surveys are continuing in case of future occurrences of infestations.

Fertiliser situation

Combined fertiliser sales to the peasant and state sectors as at the end of the reporting month amounts to 236,316 tons, which is approximately 14.3 percent higher than sales in 1994.

Donor commitment in support of fertiliser import for 1996 is continuing. Tentative pledges by donors and financial institutions by October 1995 is about USD 66 million, enabling the purchase of 200,000 tons of fertiliser at the present import price of USD 330 per ton (Asab rates).


Several NGOs carried out preliminary meher harvest assessments in their operating areas of the country. The following briefly outlines their findings:

CARE Ethiopia assessment in West Shewa, East and West Hararghe

An assessment was carried out by CARE Ethiopia on the overall condition of meher season and crop performance in its operational areas of East Shewa, East and West Hararghe, Awash and Borena zones of Oromiya Region.

According to the assessment report, the situation in most parts of Adama and Boset weredas of East Shewa was satisfactory and the performance of maize and teff has generally been good. In West Hararghe, the meher crop performance was average to above average in the highland, midland and some lowland areas. However, the late planted teff and maize, particularly in Alemtena area of Adama wereda of East Shewa, in most parts of Meiso, midland and lowland areas of Gubakoricha, the lowland areas of Bokie, Doba and Chiro weredas of West Hararghe and in some lowland areas of East Hararghe exhibited much below average crop performance due to the poor amount, distribution and early onset of the kirmet rains.

The physical conditon of livestock as well as pasture and water were found to be normal in Awash, and the central and eastern parts of Yavello at Dire weredas in Borena.

A similar survey was carried out by the CRS in the weredas of Fedis, Kombolcha, Jarso, Gorgogutu and Meta in Oromiya Region. The survey report indicates that although the rains were good during the 1995 meher season, inputs of fertiliser (1,400 tons) and improved seeds (about 71 tons) used on 102,669 hectares of land were insufficient and have not contributed to the overall increase of production.

SCF/UK kiremt season survey in Tigray

According to the kiremt season survey done by the SCF/UK in the Southern, Eastern and Central zones of Tigray, the main rains this year were better than those of the past two years. Nonetheless, the rains were not enough in about 58% of the surveyed villages which reported inadequate rainfall as the main constraint to a good crop production. Poor rains were reported for Tembien and Adwa and Inderta, and parts of Agame and Raya and Azebo weredas. However, relatively better rains were reported in areas along the main road running north from Welo to Mekele and into Kilte Awlalo.

Following a steep post-harvest rise in cereal prices early in the year, a slight decrease has been observed, in part due to improved relief mechanisms. The level of relief provision in the food defict areas of Tigray has increased since January, however, the overall amount of relief in 1995 has been lower than that of previous years due to better climatic conditions and coping mechanisms.


Food aid status

As at the end of October, pledges against the 1995 total requirement of 1,032,000 tons amount to 599,073 tons of food aid including commercial, programme and relief/regular categories. The overall pledging situation for the 1995 relief and regular requirements is good, with 416,098 tons pledged out of the total requirements of 427,000, leaving a shortfall of 10,902 tons. However, no pledges have been made by donors against the government's appeal to monetise 80,000 tons of grain to support employment generation schemes, and a pledging shortfall of 182,975 tons still remains for the 1995 programme food aid requirements. Also, no commercial imports have so far been registered against the commercial cereal import requirements of 150,000 tons that was foreseen by the December 1994 FAO/WFP mission.

Total deliveries to Ethiopia by the end of November stand at 253,660 tons or 60% of the pledged quantity against the 1995 relief and regular requirements, whereas final figures on food aid distribution to beneficiaries of relief and regular programmes between January and September 1995 show a delivery of 242,414 tons.



Reports of pocket outbreaks of malaria in many parts of the country have resulted in the need to provide addtional supplies of drugs to the regional centres. In addition to delivery of supplies, malaria control activities have also been increased in the affected regions in order to prevent the resurgence of the disease into a widespread epidemic. Outbreaks have been noted in South Gonder (Amhara Region), where 45% of the cases have been resistant to chloroquine. An incidence of 6,500 cases of malaria were also reported in East Shewa (Oromiya Region). In this zone, drug availability for adults seems to be satisfactory but is not adequate for children that require anti-malarial suspension.

According to WHO, the rise in the number of malaria cases could be attributed to the prolonged rains that have led to increased vector breeding sites, and to the discontinuation of spraying due to a periodic decrease in the occurrence of the disease.

Incidences of Acute Diarrhoeal Disease (ADD) have also been occuring in different parts of the country. A total of 202 cases were reported from Arsi (Oromiya Region) by the Zonal Health Department. However, the incidence is relatively small in comparison to the 1,322 cases of ADD reported in the zone at the same time last year. A total of 1,085 cases of ADD were also registered in Arsi Negelle and Shashemane (Oromiya Region) at the end of September, with the incidence being higher among the younger age groups. A stock of 10,000 sachets of ORS is available in the weredas, but will need to be replenished with additional supplies.

Support to health services

During October UNICEF carried out the monitoring of ongoing projects, assessment of the emergency situation in different parts of the country, initiation and development of Oral Rehydration Therapy/Expanded Programme of Immunisation (ORT/EPI) programmes in emergency operation areas, provision of essential medical supplies and drugs, and preparation for UNICEF participation in the CDPP needs assessment missions.

Between 18 September and 15 October a team travelled to South Gonder, North and South Welo zones of the Amhara Region and parts of Tigray Region to monitor UNICEF-supported community nutrition activities and also initiate the evaluation of this project in South Gonder. The mission's findings indicate that the weredas of Libo, Lay Gayint and Farta have a shortage of supplementary food. Also, although supplies of supplementary food were provided by UNICEF to the emergency programme areas of South Welo earlier this year at the request of the Regional Health Department, no distributions have taken place by the Zonal Health Department.

A visit to Benishangul Region took place from 7-11 October for the appraisal of the Wereda Integrated Basic Services activities undertaken with funding from the Norwegian Agency for Development (NORAD).

A mission was carried out to East Shewa and Arsi zones in the Oromiya Region to monitor ongoing ORT/EPI activities that were initiated as a result of a recent micro-planning workshop.

During October, teams of UNICEF Emergency Officers also visited Harar and Dire Dawa to discuss progress on the water developmen projects in Gode, Degehabur, Jijiga, Harar and Kebribeyah. The teams report that baseline data for the UNICEF Wereda Integrated Basic Services Programme in Harar, Dire Dawa and Kebribeyah weredas has been finalised and a Plan of Action completed.


Sudanese Refugees
The assisted population reached 59,154 with the following breakdown: Bonga 15,614; Fugnido 33,273; and Dimma 10,267.

Following the arrival of about 200 Sudanese asylum seekers on the River Dawa Island on the border of Kenya and Ethiopia, asylum was denied by the Government of Kenya on the grounds that the asylum seekers had traversed several countries before reaching Kenya. The Ethiopian Government, however, has provided this population conditional asylum as long as they opt for the Sudanese camps in Western Ethiopia. A total of 87 asylum seekers have so far expressed an interest to move to these camps. UNHCR is still discussing the situation of the remaining population with the concerned authorities in order to reach a solution. In the meantime, several Kenya-based NGOs are assisting the asylum seekers through the provision of emergency food supplies and shelter.

Somali refugees
The Administration for Refugee and Returnee Affairs (ARRA) has reported new arrivals from Adwal Region in North-west Somalia to the Aisha refugee camp site. However, the exact number of these new arrivals in not yet known.

The total number of assisted, registered and/or listed Somali refugees in the eight eastern camps stands unchanged at 275,189, with the following breakdown by camps: Hartisheik 58,675; Kebribeyah 10,106; Darwanaji 43,008; Teferiber 46,369; Camaboker 31,920; Rabasso 24,865; Daror 44,964; and Aisha 15,282.

The rising inflation rate of the newly-established Somaliland shilling has been a cause for concern, in case it leads to a renewed influx of "economic" refugees into Ethiopia. According to UNHCR, many new arrivals have been noticed in and around the refugee camps of Darwanaji and Teferiber as well as in the proximity of Jijiga and Lafaissa areas.

The local Administrative Council of Teferiber plans to implement the town master plan for rehabilitation, which entails moving about 3,500 refugees to a newly allocated area. ARRA officials are presently discussing the issue with the local authorities in Teferiber. On the other hand, the refugees have also held several demonstration in protest of the proposed transfer.


Repatriation from Djibouti
Weekly trains from Djibouti to Dire Dawa carried an additional 3,708 returnees in October, bringing the total number of Ethiopian refugees that have repatriated since January 1995 to 21,564.

Individual repatriation
During the month of October, a total of 19 persons were individually repatriated from Kenya (17), United Kingdom (1) and Yemen (1).

1. These areas include the Somali Region, central and southern parts of the Southern Region, and Borena and Bale zones in Oromiya Region.


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 delimitations of its frontiers or boundaries. Information in this report has been obtained from specialised UN agencies and NGO reports. Reference is made to any other source of information as necessary.

8 November 1995

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