ERITREA* (28 February)
A severe food crisis has emerged in Eritrea due to a prolonged drought that seriously affected crop and livestock production. Nearly two-thirds of the population are now estimated to be in need of urgent food assistance. Large numbers of those affected are already showing signs of severe malnutrition.
The Eritrean government, which has appealed for some 476 000 tonnes of emergency relief food, has called for a greater contribution from the international community. The World Food Programme (WFP) recently reported that supplies would run out in April and that donors have pledged only a quarter of the US$ 150 million needed to support Eritrea until the end of the year. In addition, humanitarian assistance is required for a large number of people displaced by the border war with neighbouring Ethiopia in 1998-2000, returning refugees from Sudan, and 80 000 children benefiting from WFP Emergency School Feeding programme.