[dehai-news] Allafrica.com: Ethiopia: Ethiopia Appeals for $ Half Billion for Emergency Food Aid

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From: Berhane Habtemariam (Berhane.Habtemariam@gmx.de)
Date: Thu Feb 26 2009 - 09:59:40 EST

Ethiopia: Ethiopia Appeals for $ Half Billion for Emergency Food Aid

Yonas Abiye

26 February 2009


Addis Abeba - Ethiopia on Tuesday appealed for financial aid amounting to
close to a half a billion USD to feed 4.9 million citizens the government
says are in dire need of emergency relief in 2009.

The figure is not in par with humanitarian agencies who put the number as
high as 12 million who actually are in need of emergency foods aid.

The government says donors far various reasons inflate the number of people.

The government, on a number of occasions, announced economic growth "for six
consecutive years." State Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development
(MoARD), Mitiku Kassa told a press conference on Tuesday at his office that
the deteriorating humanitarian situation, prompted by severe food shortage
resulted from poor performance of the 2008 fiscal year, failure of belg
rain, poor performance of 2008 Meher, soaring food prices, unfavorable terms
of trade, and slow recovery from effects of previous drought.

Citing joint Government and humanitarian partners' assessment, Mitiku said
the total net emergency requirement, including food needs for the year and
non food needs for the first six months of 2009, amounts to USD 454,369,769
within six to ten months.

Accordingly, the net food requirement stands at 450,611 MT, valued at USD
389.3 million.

The Targeted Supplementary Food (TSF) Programme requires 30,327 MT amounting
to USD 26.2 million to respond to needs of estimated 1.2 million
beneficiaries, Mitiku explained.

Moreover, the net requirement for the non-food sectors (health and
nutrition, water and sanitation and agriculture and livestock) amounts to
USD 38.8 million.

The Crop and Food Supply Assessment Missions' (CFSAM) report indicated that
cereal and pulse production during the meher 2008/09 season was about 10
percent above last year's post-harvest estimate.

According to the report, this is the fifth consecutive season of good meher
harvest with total cereal and pulse production estimated at 18 million MT,
including 17.4 million MT from the meher season and a forecast of 0.6
million MT for the belg 2009 season.

All the same, the number of people who needs emergency relief is n
increasing since the last five to six years despite increasing agricultural
production, the government says.

This year's harvest is expected to e one million more than that of last

Though the national reserve has the capacity of over 404,000 MT, currently
the country has only 170,000MT.

Mitiku added some 60,000MT tone of food was on the way via the Djibouti

Meanwhile, concerns are high over continuing food insecurity in the coming
months, in parts of the country.

In Somali Region, malnutrition and food insecurity will likely exacerbate
during the coming jilaal, dry season from January to mid April, Mitiku

Oxfam GB last moth indicated from Nairobi, at least 4.6 million people in
Ethiopia were dependent on emergency assistance to meet their immediate food
needs in 2008, in addition to the 7.3 million chronically food insecure
people being assisted through a national safety net programme.

International aid agencies including UN-OCHA last month reported that in
2009, an estimated 12 million people, 20 percent of the rural population
will continue to require humanitarian assistance.

This, they say, is derived from the Humanitarian Requirements Document
issued on 30 January 2008 which indicates that a total of 4.9 million people
will require emergency food assistance in addition to the 7 million
chronically food insecure people that continue to be assisted through
Productive Safety Net Programme (PSNP).


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