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GIEWS Update-detail
Ethiopia: Upcoming Flash Appeal Based on a Worsening Situation

28 April 2005
Despite a generally favorable Meher season in 2004, the Humanitarian situation in drought-affected areas of Ethiopia has been worsening, raising concern among the Government, UN Agencies and the humanitarian Community. This is due to a combination of factors: (i) the abnormal pattern of Belg rains and its impact on many smallholders, (ii) delayed implementation of the Productive Safety Nets Program aimed at chronically food insecure population groups, and (iii) partial and late response by donors to appeals for food and non-food assistance. As of mid-April, only 60% of the estimated food needs of acutely vulnerable people were covered or pledged. In agriculture just over 20% of estimated needs were secured (11% for seeds), while 30% were met for livestock.

According to FAO/Ethiopia, the outcome of the Belg season remains uncertain. Early rains in December and January, particularly in Northern, Eastern, Central and Southern Ethiopia were favorable for land preparation, planting of Belg crops, water resources and the regeneration of pastures. February, however, was predominantly dry, affecting crops planted in December and January especially in some low lands. Water and pasture availability also suffered in some areas. March rains were generally good over most of the country, but this temporary improvement was followed by dry spells (late March/April) which lasted two to four weeks. The general uptrend in rainfall observed as of mid-April actually resulted in flooding in some of the eastern areas. The final outcome of the Belg depends heavily on timely rainfall over the next four weeks.

Although some areas in Afar and Somali regions reportedly received sporadic rainfall, pasture and water resources have not yet recovered.

A Joint Government/UN Agencies/humanitarian partners Flash Appeal to the donor community has been scheduled for May 4, 2005.