Emergencies Unit for Ethiopia

 NOVEMBER  1994   
Prepared by the Information Sectionof the UNDP Emergencies Unit for Ethiopia from information provided by UN agencies and NGOS

Table of Contents 



Crop and food needs assessment

A preliminary crop assessment and food needs was carried out in November by the Relief and Rehabilitation Commission. Assessment teams visited various parts of the country to monitor the performance of the main season (Meher) crop and evaluate its impact on the food supply of the rural population in 1995. Representatives from the donor community, UN and Non-Governmental Organisations also participated in this assessment.

Following the RRC assessment, an FAO/WFP Crop and Food Needs Supply Assessment Mission visited Ethiopia from 13 November to 7 December to estimate the actual production of the 1994 main cropping season, estimate national food import requirements in 1995 and assess food aid needs for 1995.

The mission visited different regions in the country with particular emphasis on food deficit areas. During the visits, interviews were conducted with farmers, traders, local Government officials and food aid beneficiaries, and data was collected at both the regional and central levels. The FAO/WFP mission will also be using the results of the preliminary assessments carried out by the RRC and NGOs in order to forecast the 1994/95 cereals and pulse production and 1995 food import needs.

The FAO/WFP mission presented their preliminary findings to the Government, donors and international community on 5-6 December and will issue their final report by 14 December.

Subsequently, the Government of Ethiopia is expected to launch its appeal for 1995 on 16 December. In addition to outlining the food aid requirements for 1995, the Government's appeal is likely to concentrate on obtaining support for the implementation of the National Policy on Disaster Prevention and Management.

Development issues

On 1 December, the Transitional Government of Ethiopia and UNDP signed agreements confirming $40 million of assistance to the Government of Ethiopia under the national sub-programmes on Agricultural Development and Disaster Prevention, Preparedness and Mitigation. UNDP's assistance to the National Agricultural Development Programme ($26 million) will contribute to the promotion of food production and food security, whereas support to the National Programme of Disaster Prevention, Preparedness and Mitigation ($14.1 million) will be channelled through area-based interventions in disaster-prone areas and capacity building.

Political Developments

Court proceedings against 66 former Derg officials, of which 22 will be charged in absentia, are scheduled to start on 13 December, following months of preparation. In a public announcement in Addis Ababa, the Central High Court has declared the hearings open to interested individuals, local and international observers and journalists.

The Consitutent Assembly continued its deliberations in November. By the end of the month approximately 90 articles from the total 106 had been completed. It is anticipated that the Consitutent Assembly will conclude its meetings before the end of 1994 and will determine the date of elections, which are due to take place next year.


Weather situation

There have been some modifications in the earlier positive view of the main (Meher) season due to the early withdrawal of (Kiremt) rains in a number of areas. South Welo, for example, is emerging as an area in particularly difficult circumstances. Excessive mid-season rainfall in the highland areas of South Welo resulted in flooding and waterlogging and it is likely that crops in the zone have been extensively damaged. However, some traditionally deficit areas now seem to be better off than certain normally productive zones which are facing problems.

The failure of the Belg rains in the eastern and northern parts of the country resulted in the late planting of maize and sorghum which required an extension of long rains for a good harvest. Following this, the Kiremt rains started on time and extended normally until the end of August but withdrew early in September, causing moisture stress on maize and sorghum crops.

The prospects remain good for the 1995 harvest in the southern and western parts of the country. The rainfall pattern in pastoral areas has also been normal but has been accompanied by unseasonally heavy rains in the highlands of north, northeastern and central Ethiopia. This may have a negative effect on teff crops.

Pest infestation

Preliminary assessments indicate that infestations of quelea birds, which have been reported over the past few months, do not seem to have greatly affected crop prospects. However, control measure against this migratory pest are continuing in remaining affected areas such as North Shewa and are expected to be completed in December.

Armyworm control operation

An assessment was recently conducted by the Crop Protection Division of the Ministry of Agriculture to establish the extent of damage caused by the armyworm infestation this year. According to the report, this year's outbreak was very severe, covering 406 weredas in 42 zones, and affecting over 1,267,000 hectares of crop and pastureland. The main crops damaged by the infestation were maize, sorghum and millet.

Fertilizer situation

Fertilizer pledges by donors and international financial institutions for 1995 agricultural production are now adequate to meet the estimated requirement of between 230,000 - 250,000 tons.

Retail prices for fertilizer are still being discussed by involved officials. Much concern has been expressed over the rising world prices this year in comparison the prices of last year.


Pledges, shipments and deliveries

As at 29 November, from the total import requirements of 1,278,000 tons for 1994, 985,195 tons have been pledged. Of the total pledges, 806,339 tons had been delivered by the last week of November, bringing the total imports including refugee supplies and 1993 carry overs, to 856,143 tons.

WFP report that by the end of the year it is anticipated that close to one million tons of food aid will have been delivered to Ethiopia, leaving a balance of around 80,000 tons of undelivered 1994 pledges at the end of December.

Tables of food aid statistics for November are given at the end of this report.

Actual distribution of regular and relief supplies to beneficiaries as of the end of October stand at approximately 564,400 tons. Distributions in the month of October were lower 25% lower than the previous month, and are hoped to have continued to decline in the last months of the year as harvest becomes available. Many organisations are now scaling down relief operations and turning to food for work activities.

Carry over stock levels into 1995 are currently under discussion, but the Emergency Food Security Reserve has over 200,000 tons available, and it may be able to facilitate borrowing against confirmed pledges.

Refugee and returnee operations

A new influx of 27,700 refugees from Somaliland into Region 5 (Somali) refugee camps as a result of insecurity in the Hargeysa area has placed the WFP refugee food pipeline in a precarious situation. With the possibility of a continuing influx, it is imperative to position sufficient resources and ensure a rapid and effective response to the emerging needs in the region. To this end, WFP is undertaking efforts to secure pledges from donors to allow borrowing against the EFSR.


With the increased involvement of the private sector, both long haul and short haul transport operations are continuing efficiently. Direct delivery operations from the ports, particularly for recent major shipments from the European Union, have proved highly successful.

The EFSR is facing some difficulty with warehousing and storage capacity as its own building programme will not be completed before mid 1995. It is, however, investigating the possibility of utilising the storage facilities of the Ethiopian Grain Trade Enterprise and other warehouse operators.



During the past month, outbreaks of malaria have been reported from various parts of the country. According to WHO, these incidences do not indicate an epidemic but are part of a seasonal outbreak that normally occurs between the months of August and December. Furthermore, there have been no reports of menningo-coccal meningitis which is usually prevalent during the last quarter of the year.

Support to health services

In November, UNICEF Emergency Officers visited the Borena zone of Region 4 (Oromia) to assess the progress of ongoing emergency rehabilitation projects in the area. Teams from UNICEF also participated in the RRC assessment missions visiting different parts of the country to review current situations and assess 1995 food and non-food requirements.

Based on visits to various disaster-prone areas, UNICEF is currently developing Plan of Actions (PoAs) which will be included in the RRC/UNICEF 1995 Appeal for Non-Food Assistance. This appeal document is expected to be finalised at the beginning of December and will be presented to the RRC for incorporation into the Government's 1995 Appeal.

Rehabilitation of health facilities

The repair of several partially damaged health facilities funded by WHO has been completed. These include four health stations in South Gonder and two in North Gonder zones of Region 3. A team from WHO, together with representatives from the Ministry of Health visited Region 3 to review the maintenance of these facilities. During this visit, two additional health stations were identified for repair in West Gojam.


Somali refugees
Following heavy fighting which erupted in Hargeysa on 15 November between government forces loyal to Mohammed Ibrahim Egal and the splinter 'Iidagale militia allied to the Habar Yonis, thousands of civilians, mainly women and children, fled to the eastern refugee camps in Ethiopia. By the end of the reporting period, this number had reached 27,755 and was continuing in early December at a reduced rate.

Some security incidents occurred during the month around Harar and Jigjiga involving transport trucks, but there were no casualties reported.

Sudanese refugees
By the end of November, the assisted population in the western refugee camps reached 50,823 with the following breakdown: Bonga 15,141, Fugnido 24,277 and Dimma 11,405. A total of 120 new arrivals were registered during this period, 28 of whom were unaccompanied minors previously under the Radda Barnen orphanage care in Sudan. Following verification of their status, the new refugees were transported to Fugnido settlement.


Returnee rehabilitation
A sub-project was signed between UNHCR and Liben Relief and Development Association (LIRDA), a local NGO operating in the south of Ethiopia, for the construction and furnishing of three primary schools in Chilanko, Dokisso and El Der (Region 4), where returnees from Kenya and Somalia have been re-integrated.

Following a UNHCR mission to Mekele (Region 1), the long-delayed construction of elementary schools, health stations and water supply systems in the three re-integration areas near Humera was started.

Repatriation from Djibouti
Between 25 October and 8 November 1994, 1,416 Ethiopian refugees were repatraited by train from Djibouti. The repatriation operation was suspended by the Ethiopian Government on 8 November, due to congestion at the reception centre in Dire Dawa following the Government's decision to re-screen the returnees on arrival. Heavy rainfall and flooding in Djibouti, which also damaged the railway system, further delayed the resumption of the operation. Repatriation was due to resume on 5 December.

Repatriation to Somalia
In view of the recent incidents in northwest Somalia, the repatriation operation, which was scheduled to begin in December 1994, has been put on hold. According to UNHCR, preparation and pre-positioning for repatriation will continue so the operation can commence as soon as the security situation permits.

Table I

Status of 1994 import requirements and pledges as of 29 Nov. (MT)
Structural Total 
Original import 1,074,000  
Less carry over 80,000  
stocks 31/12/93 
Less carry over 39,000  
pledges 31/12/93 
Original net import 955,000  
Revised net import 1,278,000  
requirement (April 94) 
Total pledges 985,270
Shortfall against 292,730  
revised requirement 

Table II

Status of 1994 deliveries and confirmed/unconfirmed shipments as of 29 Nov. (MT)
Total 1994 pledges (all categories)
Total deliveries
Balance due
Total confirmed arrivals
Unconfirmed arrivals due

Table III

Status of ports for the period between 22 October and 25 November 1994, including
refugees and returnees (MT)
Month opening balance
Arrivals during month
Total available 
Offtake during month
Closing balance

Note:   1. Excluding 10,500 tons for Eritrea
           2. Massawa figures include Ethiopia stocks only.


The designations used above may refer to old regional or awraja names for the sake of familiarity. However, 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 provided by specialized UN agencies. Reference is made to any other source of information as necessary.

8 December, 1994

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