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 



Prospects for the meher harvest

Surveys by the Commission for Disaster Prevention and Preparedness (CDPP), UN agencies and NGOs indicate that the 1995 harvest results in most parts of the country will be above the level reached in 1994. However, parts of the traditionally vulnerable highlands in the north and north-east of Ethiopia have experienced protracted dry spells and will still require close monitoring and assistance in the coming months to avoid severe food shortages and malnutrition.

In North Welo, South Welo and Wag Hamra zones of the Amhara Region, where the farmers are dependent on the kiremt rains for the main harvest, there have been reports of a poor season in comparison to last year. A combination of pest infestation and early cessation of rains has left a number of highland weredas (1)

with lower harvest prospects. Given the vulnerability of these areas, relief distributions will need to be continued in early 1996, to be increased particularly in those parts where the nutritional status is already threatened.(2)

FAO/WFP mission/1996 appeal

The result of ongoing joint FAO/WFP Crop and Food Supply Needs Assessment mission to assess the 1995 meher (main) harvest and cereal import and food need requirements for 1996 is expected to be released in mid-December, prior to the launch of the Government appeal on 15 December.

A half day "Pre-Appeal Workshop" was organised by the CDPP on 30 November, attended by representatives of the government, the UN system, donors and the NGO community. The workshop focused on the implementation of the National Policy for Disaster Prevention and Management (NPDPM) with particular emphasis on linking relief to development, Employment Generation Schemes (EGS) and the critical issue of capacity building for implementation of the NPDPM. Several short papers prepared by the CDPP, UN and NGO community were presented and discussed at the workshop.


UNDP support of participatory planning

In support of the Government policy on promotion of participatory planning, UNDP Ethiopia has initiated several area based integrated development programmes in selected regions. The programmes, for which $10 million has been allocated by UNDP, will be piloted in five regions and a total of 15 vulnerable administrative districts with the general aim of addressing the vulnerabilities of the populations through assisting the government to integrate community identified problems into the planning process of the programmes and strengthening the community capacity for programme implementation, monitoring and evaluation.


Weather update

According to the National Meteorological Services Agency (NMSA) the Bega season (the second modal rains) in southern Ethiopia continued favourably in November, with most pastoral areas receiving adequate rainfall. Above average rainfall was recorded in mid-season throughout the pastoral areas of Somali Region, Borena and South Omo.

Pest infestations

The desert locust situation in Ethiopia remains very calm. Earlier reports of threats in northern parts of the country bordering Eritrea were not followed by migrations from that region. However, the winter/spring breeding areas of Eastern Hararghe (Region 4) and the Ethiopian Somali Region are currently being surveyed, in case of possible outbreaks, especially as the vegetation is green following the recent bega bimodal rains and conditions will be favourable for desert locust breeding.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture, aerial control operations of quelea bird infestations in North Shewa and Oromia zones of the Amhara Region were undertaken successfully, spraying close to 400 hectares during November. As the end of the month, a total of 1568 hectares have been sprayed to control quelea birds in different regions of the country.

Fertiliser situation

Combined fertiliser sales to the peasant and state sectors amount to 240,000 tons. According to FAO, the sales target of 350,000 tons plus a ten percent contingency has been established as the working figure for the 1996 cropping season.

Donor commitment in support of fertiliser import for 1996 is continuing. Tentative pledges by donors, financial institutions and the Government for fertiliser procurement as at the end of November 1995 is 311,000 tons.


Food aid status

As at the end of November, pledges against the 1995 total requirement of 1,032,000 tons amount to 603,891 tons of food aid including commercial, programme and relief/regular categories. The overall pledging situation for the 1995 relief and regular requirements is very good, with pledges of 435,275 tons exceeding the target requirements of 427,000 tons. However, a pledging shortfall of 206,384 tons still remains for the 1995 programme food aid requirements.

Total deliveries to Ethiopia of cereals and pulses for relief, regular and programme categories by the end of November stand at 379,015 or 63 percent of the pledged quantity against the 1995 requirements. Distributions to beneficiaries during the first ten months of the year through relief and regular programmes of the Government and NGOs are approximately 269,369 tons. Due to the main meher crop now being harvested in the main production areas of Ethiopia, relief food distributions have been scaled down. However, distributions continue in some belg-dependent pocket areas that do not benefit significantly from the meher harvest.


Support to health services

Based on monitoring visits by UNICEF emergency officers in the preceding months and direct requests for assistance from implementing partners, UNICEF provided supplies of supplementary food, emergency health kits, essential drugs and other medical supplies to health centres and NGOs in Tigray, Amhara Region, and the Southern Peoples National Regional State (SPNRS).

Emergency water supply

The Babile and Gursum water projects in Oromia Region have been completed, with a total of 29 wells drilled and ready for use by beneficiaries. Three UNICEF-assisted water projects are currently under construction in southern Ethiopia. These are: Fedis drilling project (Oromiya Region); Gode town emergency water supply project - a joint project with the Swiss Disaster Relief (Somali Region); and rural Ogaden water supply project (Somali Region).

Medecins Sans Frontieres (Holland) have also resumed water development programmes in Dolo Bay (Afder zone).


Sudanese Refugees
The number of Sudanese refugees in Ethiopia during the month of November reached with the following breakdown: Fugnido 33,528; Bonga 15,636; and Dimma 10,279.

Since the upsurge in the fighting in southern Sudan a month ago, the possible influx of Sudanese refugees has been carefully monitored by UNHCR, but there has so far been no dramatic increase in the normal level of flows of refugees from Sudan. In fact, with the exception of some tension and uncertainty that occurred in Dimma refugee camp as a result of reports of SPLA presence in the surrounding area, the overall situation in the refugee programme in western Ethiopia remains relatively calm.

Somali refugees
The total assisted population in the eight camps of eastern Ethiopia remained at 275,189 with the following breakdown: 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.


Repatriation from Djibouti
With the arrival of the last train from Djibouti on 7 November 1995 carrying 1,184 Ethiopian returnees, the repatriation operation from Djibouti was brought to an end. The returnees were dispersed from Dire Dawa to their respective home areas after receiving their reintegration packages. A total of 31,617 Ethiopians have been repatriated from Djibouti since the beginning of the operation, which started in September 1994. Of this number 23,886 were repatriated during 1995. However, according to Djiboutian authorities, some 2,000 Ethiopians remain registered for voluntary repatriation.

Repatriation from Sudan
Following an agreement reached between the governments of Ethiopia and Sudan, the planned second phase of the repatriation operation from Sudan is now expected to start as a pilot project on 10 December. In this regard, a joint mission comprising of UNHCR, the Administration for Refugee/Returnee Affairs (ARRA) and other implementing partners (the Ethiopian Relief Organisation, OSHO and the Relief Society of Tigray) traveled to the reintegration areas in Humera to review the situation and to proceed to the Shewak refugee camp in Sudan for participation in a voluntary repatriation workshop organised by UNHCR.

UNHCR Ethiopia has also recently been alerted that about 500 returnees/deportees, as well as families of asylum-seekers previously denied asylum in Sudan, are to be shortly repatriated prior to the commencement of the organised repatriation. To this effect, UNHCR representatives in Humera, in consultation with ARRA and NGOs, are to make emergency preparations for receiving and assisting this caseload.

Repatriation from Kenya
The airlift repatriation from Dadaab and over land movements from Kenya are expected to resume in early December. Some 3,750 Ethiopians have registered for voluntary repatriation from various refugee camps and other locations in Kenya to their homes, predominantly in Gode zone (Somali Region). UNHCR and ARRA have finalised arrangements to receive the returnees.

Individual repatriation
Five individual cases were repatriated from Kenya (4) and USA (1) in November. This brings the total number of individual returnees to 168.


The general refugee situation in the eastern refugee camps has deteriorated. Recent incidents in Camaboker, Aware area, has forced operational agencies to exercise a certain amount of caution when moving in the area. An increase in banditry and attacks on civilians in the Jijiga area have caused organisations to move in convoys between Jijiga and Dire Dawa.

1. These weredas are: Delanta, Wadla, Meket, Gidan and Bugna (North Welo); Tenta, Mekdela, Sayint, Debre Sina, Wegedi and Kelala (South Welo); all weredas in Wag Hamra zone

2. Source: Save the Children Fund UK (Kremt Season Survey); UN Emergencies Unit for Ethiopia (Field Trip Report to North and South Welo, November 1995)


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.

5 December 1995

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