FAO GLOBAL INFORMATION AND EARLY WARNING SYSTEM ON FOOD AND AGRICULTURE
WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME
The CFSAM phase-2 mission sought to integrate the findings of two assessments that took place more-or-less simultaneously
in November and December 2007: the CFSAM phase-1 crop and food supply assessment and the government-led, multi-agency Meher emergency food security assessment (EFSA). The highlights are as follows:
Food production, markets and prices
FAO and WFP have carried out an unbroken series of annual CFSAMs in Ethiopia, at the request of the Government, since 19951. In the early years, the short assessment report, which focused primarily on production of cereals and pulses for the main Meher season, domestic supply/demand conditions and food aid needs, usually came out before the end of December of the assessment year. This was also the case in 2002, given the urgency of providing basic information during a year of crisis. In recent years, most of the CFSAM reports for Ethiopia have been issued well into January, or even in early February, i.e. at least 6 weeks after the conclusion of the in-country fieldwork and preliminary debriefings. There have been a number of reasons for this:
First, Ethiopia CFSAM reports have become increasingly comprehensive and detailed, often including special sections or annexes accounting for the disparity between the two main national production datasets (from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, and from the Central Statistical Agency);
Secondly, the Meher EFSA, an exercise led by the national Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Agency (DPPA), in which WFP, FEWSnet, and a few other stakeholders participate, has provided the main basis for the analysis of food and non-food assistance needs, and thus been used as the chief source of information for the WFP contribution to the overall CFSAM report. The Meher assessment process has also become more comprehensive and detailed over time and, because of the politically sensitive nature of its conclusions, the report has often been released only after careful high-level review and deliberation2.
CFSAMs have been confronted with this issue not only in Ethiopia, but also in several other countries where significant needs assessment exercises take place independently of the FAO/WFP mission. This has been the case in southern Africa, for example, where national Vulnerability Analysis Committees (VACs) are responsible for needs assessments, often well after the CFSAM has undertaken its own supply/demand analysis, based on the status of the agricultural sector, just before harvest time. For such cases, FAO and WFP have proposed adopting a three-stage approach, consisting of:
a macroeconomic, crop production, food supply/demand analysis (CFSAM phase 1);
an assessment of emergency food and non-food assistance needs (done in southern Africa by the VACs) and, ideally, based in part on the results of the first stage; and
a synthesis of the preceding macro and micro-level analyses (CFSAM phase 2). 3
This, however, requires that the findings from each stage be available by the start of the subsequent stage, while the whole process needs to be completed fairly quickly in order to provide timely information for decision-making. This approach was proposed for Ethiopia in 2006 and it was agreed to use the 2007/08 Meher season as a test case. CFSAM phase 1, the crop and food supply assessment, was undertaken from 19 November to 12 December 2007, the field work for the Meher EFSA was conducted between 17 November and 17 December, and a joint FAO/WFP team travelled to Addis Ababa for CFSAM phase 2 from 21 January to 2 February 20084.
Since the results of the Meher EFSAs had not yet been officially released, the team relied on preliminary information, including the summary reports of the Meher assessment teams presented to the Early Warning Working Group (EWWG) in December 2007, carried out an update of the food supply/demand and food security situation, and undertook a review of the CFSAM stage 1 and Meher assessment processes in order to make recommendations for future CFSAMs.
Three weeks after the mission had left Ethiopia, the DPPA released a document entitled Affected Population and Food Aid Requirement Summary by Woreda, dated 21 February, providing figures for the numbers of emergency-affected people in woredas that are not covered by the Productive Safety Net Programme (PSNP) and that it proposed should therefore be provided with assistance – “relief” – through DPPA mechanisms. Addenda have accordingly been placed in section 4 and Annex I of this report to reflect these ‘after-end-of-mission’ data and their implications.
As presented in the CFSAM phase-1 report5, the overall agricultural performance of the 2007 Meher season was judged to be better than the previous year’s, due to improved yields from a slightly increased cultivated area in both main production zones and marginal areas. Improved yields were considered to stem from well-distributed rainfall on crops, higher financial returns to grain growers prompting increased investment in inputs, timely farming operations, as well as a generally timely supply of fertilizers, improved seeds and credit6. Overall, the Mission estimated total 2007 meher cereal and pulse production at about 21.5 million tonnes, some 7 percent above the previous year’s post-harvest estimates. It has been the fourth consecutive good harvest, generally speaking. With a Belg production in July/August 2008 conservatively anticipated by the mission at 600 000 tonnes, total domestic availability of cereal and pulses for 2008 was estimated at some 22 million tonnes. Table 1 presents the national food balance sheet prepared by the CFSAM phase 1 team.
Conclusion: Domestic availability of cereal and pulses for 2008 is expected to more than meet aggregate domestic requirements. The balance between domestic supply and demand – see Table 1 – allows for a very substantial increase in estimated annual per capita consumption to 196 kg of cereals and pulses (in cereal equivalent terms),7 a substantial quantity of informal cross-border exports, and a large increase in stocks (from 376 000 tonnes opening stocks to 684 000 tonnes closing stocks).
|3 060||5 284||2 459||5 932||3 271||600||181||20 787||1 667||22 454|
|Total production||3 035||5 034||2 439||5 912||3 261||600||175||20 456||1 622||22 078|
|2007 Meher season||3 002||4 960||2 291||5 655||3 229||599||165||19 901||1 577||21 478|
|2008 Belg season||33||74||148||257||32||1||10||555||45||600|
|Total utilization||3 060||5 284||2 459||5 932||3 271||600||181||20 787||1 667||22 454|
|Food use||2 615||3 328||1 268||3 962||2 575||521||158||14 428||1 109||15 537|
|Feed use||200||300||276||250||10||1 036||1 036|
|Losses and other uses||152||667||518||1 528||390||42||3 297||244||3 541|
|Comm. & informal exports||180||350||93||28||651||150||801|
Since 2002/03, real Gross Domestic Product for Ethiopia has risen by 48 per cent, in real terms. This unprecedented economic growth has been strongly supported by generally good agricultural production, particularly as of 2004, since agriculture contributes about 45 percent of GDP, but it has also been driven by other components of broad based economic growth. These have included substantial public spending and investment, private investment from both domestic funds and growing inflows of outside remittances, as well as with more easily accessible sources of credit. Donor funding also rose from 3.7 Million Birr in 2005/06 to 7.6 Million Birr in 2006/07. At the same time, poverty-reducing expenditure (applying to such sectors as agriculture, food security, health, education and roads) grew about 18 percent in nominal terms, while defence spending was cut to a record low level of 2 percent of GDP by late 2007.
|1 January||31 December||% change|
Ethiopia’s general consumer price index has risen steadily since 2002 (when grain prices reflected the very bad growing season) and has reached double-digit levels since 2005, see Table 2. The trend has been strongly influenced by the food component of the consumers’ basket, the food component having risen much faster in the last few years than the non-food one, see Table 3.
Since the end of 2004, prices of main cereals have followed a steady upward trend without any significant post-harvest reduction, and have remained above the average level of inflation throughout 2007 – see Table 3 and Figure 1.
|Food Prices||Non-Food Prices||Cereal Prices|
|1 Jan.||31 Dec.||% change||1 Jan.||31 Dec.||% change||1 Jan.||31 Dec.||% change|
Price trends in recent years and, in particular, the fact that basic grain prices have remained high ever after several good years, are due to a combination of economic factors influencing effective grain demand and supply as well as the rise in oil prices and the increasing supply of money. Continued good economic performance in 2006, fuelled by increasing pro-poor investments and private consumption, the injection of cash into the rural economy through the Productive Safety Net Programme (PSNP) and the recent increase in salaries and pensions of public civil servants have boosted the domestic demand for grains, livestock products8 and other basic foods. At the same time, despite the good harvests obtained, volumes of grains available on markets may not have increased as expected or, at least, their sales have been more evenly distributed throughout the year, instead of being concentrated at harvest time, as was previously the case. Better financial capacity of farmers to retain and stock grains due to access to micro-credit, increased local purchases by governmental food security institutions, agricultural cooperatives and relief agencies, together with expanded domestic and external trade flows, seem to be the main factors behind a market supply more evenly spread over time.
|2003||1 632 962|
Finally, the fact that cereal food aid inflows, and food aid in general, have been decreasing over the last few years – see Table 4 – has contributed to a tight domestic supply: food aid inflows in 2008 are anticipated to follow the trend.
In a context of rising prices, it is sometimes suggested that the strategies and practices of traders (in particular spatial and temporal arbitrage) might be to blame for the price increases. According to careful observers of the national cereal markets9, however, there is strong evidence to the contrary. The marketing of cereals and other basic commodities has become less centralized, more dynamic and based on a greater number of primary and secondary markets of rising importance (including in particular the wholesale markets in Nazareth, Mekelle, Dire Dawa, and even Awassa). Ethiopian farmers have become increasingly market oriented and sophisticated, to the point that traders have been complaining that ‘farmers now exert stronger market power’. It is significant that in a recent interview with rural producers, farmers were heard to be requesting:
accurate and timely market information,
training on commodity grading, and
increased access to warehousing facilities.
The question, under current conditions of favourable production conditions, relatively high prices, and supply response by farmers, is whether Ethiopia’s factor markets (especially for rural labour and agricultural inputs), and product markets (for all basic agricultural commodities) are fully up to the task of sustaining increased investment into an agricultural sector now yielding better returns.
Despite the considerable increase in nominal grain prices, neither wheat nor maize prices had reached import parity levels in January 2008, due to the very sharp price increase for these commodities on the world market. On the contrary, the very high current level of international wheat prices indicates that Ethiopian wheat prices may be below export parity, which explains the concern of the Government not only over the potential price impact of local purchases but also about potential exports of wheat to regional markets10. In fact, the Government is trying to resolve a set of complex equations. In theory, priority should be given to local purchases when there is an aggregate surplus in-country and, ideally, such purchases have to be undertaken in a number of small procurement actions from the surplus areas to minimize the impact on domestic prices. Given that the levels of grain prices in Ethiopia, in spite of their sharp increases, remain below those of most surrounding markets11, there indeed is some scope for carefully-managed local purchases. On the contrary, spending a great deal more to import all of the emergency relief requirements for redistribution within the country would add to domestic supply, thereby creating an even greater disparity between domestic and over-the-border prices, and hence additional incentives for outflows of grain.
Conclusion: When choosing between local purchases or imports to meet requirements for emergency food distributions, there is policy choice to be made. Public resources can be spent either for the benefit of surplus producers and needy consumers (through local purchases) or for the benefit of needy consumers and those involved in informal cross-border trade (through commercial imports for all requirements).
The annual Meher emergency food security assessment (EFSA) was undertaken between 17 November and 17 December 2007: 20 multi-agency teams visited 54 zones and 6 special woredas. The teams reported back to Early Warning Working Group (EWWG) meetings on 13 December (in relation to most of the cropping regions) and on 21 December (in relation to the pastoral regions and Gambella). At the time of the mission’s visit, no overall report had been issued. It was understood that the DPPA had compiled the zonal and regional figures and submitted its analysis to the Federal Government which was in the process of discussing the findings with regional governments.
The assessment teams’ reports identified people in need of emergency assistance in all regions and a total of 49 zones. Most of these needs were in woredas, or “pockets” within woredas, that had suffered “weather adversities” such as localized floods, hailstorms or erratic rainfall. In Somali Region, however, the food security situation is described as being very poor in the majority of woredas, and could become critical in many, as a result of the combined effects of poor rains, localized events, and the disruption of markets due to insecurity and counter-insurgency measures.
Annex I provides a compilation, prepared by the mission, of the estimates for the numbers of people in need of assistance, by woreda, as reported by the assessment teams in December 2007, together with figures for the numbers of PSNP beneficiaries in the woredas concerned. The link with the coverage of the PSNP is important because the policy of the Government is to reduce the need for appeals for emergency food aid by using the PSNP to address chronic food insecurity and meet needs arising from localized, modest shocks – see the box below.
In fact, woredas fall into two main categories: those where the PSNP is operational, and those where it is not. In addition, within the non-PSNP areas, Somali region appears, not for the first time, to be a special case on account of insecurity in addition to poor rainfall, localized adverse events, the likelihood of a severe drought, and already rising levels of malnutrition.12
The PSNP and its contingency facility
The Productive Safety Net Programme (PSNP)13, initiated in 2005, now covers some 7.5 million people in 274 woredas identified as being the most chronically food-insecure on the basis of the frequency of need for emergency food assistance during the ten years to 2005. The selected beneficiaries receive 15 kg of cereals per person per month, or the cash equivalent14, for a pre-determined number of months each year. The Programme includes an annual contingency fund, equal to 20 percent of the base programme cost, intended to increase the level of assistance to existing PSNP beneficiaries in case of shocks and to increase, temporarily, the number of beneficiaries in case of a localized and modest shock that affects households that are not current PSNP beneficiaries. The Regional Bureau of Agriculture and Rural Development manage the majority of the contingency fund (15 percent) while the Woreda Rural Development Office manages the remainder (5 percent). A bad year, or a succession of bad years, is considered an ‘emergency’ and additional resources are mobilized through DPPA for households in PSNP woredas who are not Safety Net beneficiaries but have become temporarily food insecure as well as for needy affected households in other woredas. [Source: PSNP Programme Implementation Manual 2006, Abridged version for Woreda use] In 2007, about 60 percent of PSNP resource transfers were in the form of cash and 40 percent in food during the first half of the year, but 50/50 later, and support was provided through the PSNP mechanism for some 2 million emergency-affected people. For 2008, the Programme expects to distribute some 300 000 tonnes of food of which about 60 000 may be purchased using the Programme’s own resources. [Information provided to the mission by the Director FSCB, 29 Jan. 2008]
Different assessment methods were used in different areas
Existing household economy (HEA) baselines were used together with HEA livelihood impact analysis spreadsheets (LIAS) and woreda impact analysis spreadsheets (WIAS)15 for the analyses in Afar, SNNP, Somali and Tigray regions. An HEA baseline was prepared for Amhara shortly before the assessment and training sessions organized, but some of the teams and local officials were not sufficiently familiar with the HEA analysis to have confidence in the results and, in two zones, apparently gave precedence to ‘traditional’ analyses.16 For the remaining regions and special woredas, HEA baselines do not yet exist and the ‘traditional’ approach was used. Table 5 provides a summary of the methods used in different areas and the sources of technical support for the 2007 assessment.
The primary sources of information in all cases were officials and other key informants at the woreda level. Some teams, especially those using the HEA approach, also conducted interviews with market traders and a few – very few – community interviews.17
|Area||Approach used||Technical support|
|SNNP and Tigray regions||HEA approach using woreda-specific data collection formats (adapted to the woreda baselines) and LIA spreadsheet analysis||Technical support in preparation and training from USAID-supported Livelihood Integration Unit (LIU), DPPA|
|Amhara region||HEA (as above) + ‘traditional’ approach|
|Afar and Somali regions||HEA approach using a simple, standard semi-structured interview guide||Technical support in training and analysis from Save the Children, UK (SC-UK)|
|Benshangul Gumuz, Gambella, Harari and Orimiya regions, and Dire Dawa||‘Traditional’ approach following the existing 2006/07 DPPA guideline|
Data were analysed and reported differently
Where the HEA approach was used, the spreadsheet analyses produced specific estimates of the impact of shocks on different livelihood groups and the numbers of people facing a ‘survival deficit’ (SD) or a ‘livelihood protection deficit’ (LPD) in each woreda. Some of the teams identified “emergency” cases that they judged could not be covered by the existing PSNP programme and contingency facility and/or numbers in “pockets” that they considered may not have been identified in the basic HEA analysis. But not all ‘HEA’ teams reported in this way and it seems unlikely that this was done in a standard fashion by the different teams.
Where the ‘traditional’ approach was used, discussions among the team and its interlocutors led directly to estimates of the numbers of people in need of emergency relief and the periods during which they would need assistance (the start date and duration). It is not clear from the reports whether, in PSNP woredas, the figures reported allow for some of the needs being covered through the PSNP contingency mechanism or not.
The variation in the presentation of the results in addition to the use of different methods in different areas makes it difficult to compile a reliable and coherent overall picture. Moreover, the mission found different figures for some zones18 and was not able to resolve all the differences, particularly for Amhara region and Sidama zone, and found only zonal – not woreda – level data for N Gonder and S Gonder. Some of the figures presented in Annex I are therefore open to question and may need to be corrected. However, the mission believes that Annex I provides an approximate, overall picture of what the assessment teams reported in December 2007 while also showing the different ways in which the assessment teams reported. The addendum (columns 12 to 16) also indicates the implications for the PSNP as well as DPPA.
Figure 2 shows the distribution of the woredas where emergency needs were identified and the overlap with the PSNP woredas.
Needs for supplementary food items
|DPPA emergency/relief assistance||PSNP beneficiaries|
15 kg/person/month cereals
+ 0.45 kg/person/month oil
+ 1.5 kg/person/month pulses
Plus, in woredas where conditions are severe or very severe and the TSF programme is not operational:
4.5 kg/person/month blended food for 35 percent of target population (subject to the availability of resources).
|15 kg/ person/month cereals or the cash equivalent|
The reports of some assessment teams, but apparently not all, assign categories (“moderate”, “severe”, etc.) to individual woredas and it is these categories that, in woredas not covered by the WFP-supported targeted supplementary feeding programme (TSF), determine whether blended food will be included in the DPPA rations for the emergency affected people or not – see Table 6. However, it is not clear what criteria have been used by the teams and it seems likely that there are considerable variations in the standards applied.
Many woredas have reported emergency conditions several times in the last few years
In reviewing the Meher assessment data, the Mission examined the status of woredas reporting “emergency” conditions by allocating them into PSNP and non-PSNP categories using the frequency of emergency conditions reported since 2005 (the launching of PSNP). The geographic distribution of the woredas frequently reporting emergency conditions and the overlap with the PSNP areas are shown in Figure 3; summary data are in the box below.
|In the non-PSNP areas, 33 woredas reported emergency conditions for 4 consecutive years since 2005; 10 woredas reported 3 years out of 4, 27 woredas twice, and one woreda only once. It is possible that the woredas reporting frequent “emergency” conditions are chronically food insecure. On the other hand, several woredas within the PSNP also reported experiencing emergency conditions. For example: 4 PSNP woredas reported emergency conditions in all 4 years, 34 woredas in 3 years out of 4, and 26 woredas twice during the 4 years.|
Most of the woredas with the highest frequency of emergency conditions are in Somali region and the planned expansion of the PSNP into that region may eventually alleviate the frequency of emergency conditions there.
The tendency for PSNP woredas to continue to report emergency conditions may indicate targeting issues within the woredas concerned.
There is no systematic nutritional surveillance in Ethiopia. The periodic screening undertaken in 325 woredas by the UNICEF-assisted Emergency Outreach Strategy (EOS) programme should, in principle, provide indications of malnutrition rates and changes in those rates. But anomalies in some of the results undermine the reliability of these data.19
The Emergency Nutrition Coordination Unit (ENCU) in DPPA vets and compiles all the ad hoc nutritional surveys conducted by NGOs, but these are generally undertaken in response to reports of nutritional problems in specific areas and do not provide an overall picture of the nutritional situation or trends. However, these surveys frequently indicate particularly high rates of malnutrition for Somali and Afar regions, and in Sidama20, and this has been the case in recent months. The relevance of rates reported from Somali and Afar has apparently been contested by some national authorities on the grounds that these nomadic groups are naturally tall and thin, but the evidence clearly indicates a deteriorating nutritional situation, with global malnutrition rates in Fik and Hamero, for example, already higher than measured at any time since 2003.21 The nutritional situation there is described as ‘critical’, taking account of aggravating factors such as drought, poor vaccination coverage and the insecurity that has been restricting commercial trade and food access.22
The mission also heard some anecdotal accounts of deteriorating nutritional conditions in other areas. The situation clearly needs to be monitored carefully, not only in Somali region, but also in Borena, Afar and in other areas where severe emergency conditions have been reported.
Notwithstanding the overall good production described in the CFSAM phase-1 report (see section 2 of the present report), it is clear that the food security situation is serious in Somali Region and in some other areas, especially in the lowland areas of Borena, and that the situation in those areas could deteriorate further in the coming months. There are also needs in other areas.
Acute humanitarian needs in the Somali Region
The Somali Region DPPB Food Security Flash for December 2007, dated 6 Jan. 2008, described the result of poor rains and damage from locusts and estimated the number of people facing survival deficits at 745 000 with a further 842 000 facing livelihood deficits and also requiring emergency assistance. In addition, the mission saw and heard reports from staff of WFP and other agencies, who had visited various parts of Somali region in December and January, referring to water shortages, livestock stress and unusual livestock migrations as well as delays and difficulties in organizing food deliveries and distributions. It is understood that a 6-month emergency preparedness and response plan is being prepared by the regional government, to be shared with partners shortly. 23
Based on information available, the mission believes that the disruption of markets due to insecurity and counter-insurgency operations constitutes a major threat to the food security of populations in large parts of the region, compounding the effects of water shortages, crop losses and poor rangeland conditions. The mission, therefore, learned with regret of the postponement, for lack of government clearance, of the proposed WFP-FAO mission to assess market conditions in the region that had been planned for the last week of January.
Poor and deteriorating conditions in Borena and neighbouring zones
The assessment team estimated there were 88 000 people in need of emergency assistance in Borena zone, and the mission heard reports of increasingly serious drought conditions and humanitarian concerns there. In the lowland part of that zone, insufficient October and December rainfall was said to have spurred a surge in disease outbreaks and livestock deaths while dwindling water supplies and human disease outbreaks were having a negative impact upon health, nutrition and wellbeing. Conditions and vulnerability levels were said to be similar in parts of Guji, Bale and East Haraghe zones.24
The numbers requiring assistance in Borena are substantial in comparison with the PSNP beneficiary caseloads in the woredas concerned and the required level of assistance will require allocations from the regional contingency budget.
Pockets of need in other areas
There are undoubtedly pockets of need in other areas as a result of localized crop failures. However, the mission found it difficult to reconcile the widespread incidence of such pockets of food insecurity due to weather adversities reported by the Meher assessment teams, and the numbers of people affected, with the overall picture of good crop production for the same regions presented in the CFSAM phase-1 report (see, for example, the box below). Few additional and more recent data were available to the mission to determine whether any updating of the findings might be needed. However, the mission recently received indications that conditions are worsening some woredas in Gambella and E Gojam25 (Amhara), and further similar developments may be anticipated as the Belg rains are already late for some of the Belg producing areas.
Extracts from a draft summary report of the Meher EFSA for Orimiya region
The season was characterized by excessive rains … water logging, flooding and land sliding in most of the visited zones … incidences of hail storm and excessive wind … pocket areas where planting was delayed … [in specific zones]: delayed on set of belg rains … late onset and then excessive meher rains … distorted the normal planting of the season ... extended dry spells … frost, crop pests and diseases … African boll worm … a ground nut disease (unidentified) … The level of damage and production reduction owing to adversities varies from woreda to woreda and from zone to zone.
Extracts from CFSAM phase-1 crop assessment summary for Orimiya region (FAO, Jan 08)
… good belg rains … timely onset to the main season and meher season rains were plentiful and well-distributed geographically … timely availability of credit and fertilizers, plus pro-ploughing policies … slight expansion in cropped area … Last year localised floods and water-logging are noted to have prompted some replanting … sufficient farmer-saved seeds … higher than normal seed rates … optimal cultivation practices … widespread substitution of pulses for maize as commercially-orientated farmers and investors cash in on the combination of high prices and good yields now obtainable … apart from a reported outbreak of army worm in the Wellega zones that was immediately swamped by heavy rains, no migratory pest attacks … non-migratory pests are, however, ubiquitous but, as usual are rarely treated … cereal harvest 8 percent greater than last year’s CFSAM cereal estimate … settled livestock condition in the zones visited … livestock prices are higher than last year …
Aspects that could benefit from further examination
“Verification” missions are supposed to be organized by the regions to vet local requests for PSNP contingency resources in excess of the 5 percent of the current PSNP allocation that is at the discretion of the woreda. The mission was informed that such missions may also be organized to verify needs wherever the Meher EFSA reported significant numbers of people expected to need emergency assistance during the coming year. For the time being, there are no specific guidelines for such verification exercises but the mission was aware that a draft has been prepared (by DPPA and the EWWG) and is being reviewed and considered by the Government. It stands to reason that verification assessments should be at least as rigorous, objective and transparent as the original assessment, and should involve all the main stakeholders.26
Some aspects that merit further examination in the context of verification missions and response programming are listed in the box below. They are important, amongst other things, to ensure reasonable equality of treatment for emergency-affected people in all areas regardless of whether they are in PSNP woredas or not, or whether their situation and needs were assessed using a traditional approach or an HEA-based approach.
Aspects that merit further examination in the context of verification missions and response programming
In addition, verifications in PSNP woredas should examine the overlap between the identified emergency-affected populations and the current PSNP beneficiaries and assess the validity of the assumption that the PSNP, with limited contingency expansion, will be able to cover the emergency-related needs. In areas where HEA baselines exist, the LIA and WIA spreadsheets should be used to guide data collection and analysis during verification. In other areas, the analysis should judge needs on the basis of a thorough audit of the original assessment or conduct a new assessment of impact on household food security (not just crop losses) including an adequate number of community and household interviews.
The addendum to the table in Annex I shows in columns 12 to 15 the numbers of people needing relief assistance through DPPA mechanisms, and the numbers of people identified as needing close monitoring, reproduced from Affected Population and Food Aid Requirements by Woreda, DPPA 21 Feb. 2008. It also shows, in column 16, the numbers of people identified by the assessment teams as needing emergency assistance in woredas covered by the PSNP. These woredas do not appear in the DPPA listing: it is assumed that the PSNP is to cover all the emergency-related needs in these woredas. In line with the approach taken by DPPA for the non-PSNP woredas, the numbers of people to be covered through the PSNP correspond to those for “total emergency” needs in the case of “traditional” assessments and “survival deficits” only for “HEA-based” assessments. However, people facing “livelihood protection deficits” should also receive some level of assistance otherwise their future food security will be undermined.
There are some differences between the figures reported by the assessment teams and the provisions made in the DPPA requirements summary. It is assumed that many of these differences may arise from typographical, transcription or computational errors in one or other set of figures, but some may be more significant. The link between the two sets of figures is fairly clear in many cases. It is less evident for Amhara region28 and Sidama zone, in particular, and the figures for some woredas in Somali region are significantly less than the even the survival deficit reported by the assessment teams (e.g. in Afder and Liben zones).
Table 7 provides a summary by region of the numbers of people requiring relief assistance through DPPA or close monitoring, reproduced from the DPPA document, and the numbers then remaining to be assisted through the PSNP in PNSP woredas. It also shows the numbers of woredas concerned. For PSNP woredas it also shows, in column 7, the number of people to be covered as a percentage of the normal PSNP caseload.
DPPA (in non-PSNP
close monitoring (in
non-PSNP woredas) 1
Assessed needs in PSNP woredas
assumed to be covered through PSNP 2
|No. people||No. woredas||No. people||No. woredas||No. people||% normal PSNP||No. woredas|
|Amhara||7 900||2||57 530||12||239 464||10%||26|
|Benshangul||10 700||1||25 250||2||0||-||0|
|Gambella||66 500||11||20 700||11||0||-||0|
|Oromiya||181 590||21||406 681||58||225 300||16%||22|
|SNNPR||13 750||3||0||0||28 143||2%||11|
|Total||952 503||75||510 161||83||833 430||11%||101|
For the detailed, woreda breakdown, see Annex I.
The numbers requiring assistance are well within the 20 percent contingency budget for all regions except Afar. However, the 20 percent contingency provision within the PSNP relates to resources, not beneficiaries. If emergency beneficiaries need assistance for fewer months than normal PSNP beneficiaries, and if some of the people in need of emergency assistance are PSNP beneficiaries and therefore need only a small increase in the number of months for which they receive support, the percentage increase in the resources required will be less than the figures shown in column 7 (and in column 17 of Annex I). Further information is required to determine whether the requirements for Afar fall within the 20 percent contingency provision or an emergency appeal by DPPA is required. 29
The figures in column 17 of Annex I show that, in almost all of the woredas concerned, the estimated numbers of people requiring emergency assistance are well above the 5 percent contingency provisions at the discretion of the woreda food security task forces. Notwithstanding adjustments for the number of months of assistance and the overlap with normal PSNP beneficiaries, factors referred tonne reductions, the lengthy, 9-step process of requests and approvals described in section 4.6.6 of the PSNP Programme Implementation Manual (Abridged version for Woreda use) will apparently be required to obtain resources from the regional contingency budget for most of the PSNP woredas.
Table 8 provides a summary by region of the food aid requirements for people to be covered through DPPA “relief” while Table 9 provides equivalent figures for people in PSNP woredas that are left to be covered through the PSNP. For more details of the basis of the figures, see the addendum in Annex I.
|Requirements to be met through DPPA “relief” (in non-PSNP woredas) 1|
|Region||No. people||Grain||Blend food||Oil||Pulses||Total|
|Benshangul||10 700||963||101||29||96||1 189|
|Gambella||66 500||5 427||455||163||543||6 587|
|Oromiya||181 590||16 428||1 463||493||1 643||20 026|
|SNNPR||13 750||1 237||0||37||124||1 398|
|Somali||672 063||38 089||3 807||1 142||3 809||46 847|
|Total||952 503||62 855||5 873||1 885||6 286||76 900|
The estimated requirements for people to be covered through the PSNP (Table 9) are only “rough estimates” assuming that the emergency-affected people in PSNP woredas should benefit from the same levels of provision as those in non-PSNP woredas. The actual requirements would need to be calculated taking into account the numbers of months for which assistance is required in each woreda and, for blended food, the number of woredas outside the TSF where the situation is categorized as severe or very severe.
(all quantities rounded to the nearest 10 tonnes)
|Rough estimates of requirements to be met through PSNP (in PSNP woredas) 1|
|Region||No. people2||Grain||Blend food||Oil||Pulses||Total|
|Afar||199 268||13 160||1 230||390||1 320||16 100|
|Amhara||239 464||15 800||1 480||470||1 580||19 330|
|Oromiya||225 300||14 870||1 400||450||1 490||18 210|
|SNNPR||28 143||1 860||170||60||190||2 280|
|Tigrai||141 255||9 320||870||80||930||11 200|
|Total||833 430||55 010||5 150||1 450||5 510||67 120|
2 The numbers of people to be covered by the PSPN are taken from column 16 of the table in Annex I.
On the basis of the information available, the mission believes that:
In Somali Region: the situation is serious and likely to deteriorate: malnutrition levels are already rising. Based on information available, the mission believes that the disruption of markets due to insecurity and counter-insurgency operations constitutes a major threat to the food security of populations in large parts of the region, compounding the effects of water shortages, crop losses and poor rangeland conditions. All possible measures should therefore be taken to assure the delivery and distribution of relief food assistance for approximately 700 000 people facing ‘survival deficits’ estimated by DPPA to require 38 000 tonnes of grain and close to 9 000 tonnes of blended food, oil and pulses (see Table 8).30 Action will be needed to reduce the constraints that have been delaying deliveries and distributions of food aid in the region in recent months. To the extent possible, action should also be taken to reduce the constraints on trade in grain and livestock that aggravate food insecurity in the region. Decisions will also be needed on the provision of appropriate assistance to the approximately 840 000 additional people facing ‘livelihood protection deficits’. The food security and nutritional situation throughout the region should be closely monitored for the next 6 months.
In non-PSNP woredas of other regions: the Meher assessment teams found emergency needs in 51 woredas, particularly in Orimiya but also in Amhara, Benshangul and Gambella regions (see Annex I). The DPPA requirements list includes 38 woredas and 280 000 people (see Table 7). The reasons for the exclusion of 13 woredas should be explained. Action should be taken to mobilize and distribute the required assistance, estimated by DPPA at 25 000 tonnes of grain and 6 000 tonnes of blended food, oil and pulses (see Table 8).
In PSNP woredas: the Meher assessment teams found emergency needs in 101 woredas, mostly in Afar, Amhara and Oromiya regions, with a total of some 830 000 people in need of assistance (see Annex I and Table 7). The situation is most severe and seems to be deteriorating rapidly in parts of Borena zone. It is also worrying in E Haraghe. As assistance is apparently to be provided to all the needy, emergency-affected people in the PSNP woredas though the mechanism of the PSNP, action needs to be taken in line with the established procedures for use of PSNP contingency resources. The requirements are estimated to be about 55 000 tonnes of grain and 12 000 tonnes of blended food, oil and pulses (see Table 9). In the case of woredas where the resource requirements for the emergency cases exceed 5 percent of the annual PSNP budget – notably woredas in Borena zone but also many others – urgent action is needed by the responsible entities at all levels, from kebele to the regional government, to request, verify and approve the release of the required resources from the PSNP contingency reserve for the woredas concerned. Action is also needed to determine how commodities other than grain – oil, pulses and blended food – should be provided for the emergency-affected people.
In all areas: verification exercises and programming for the individual woredas should give attention to the “aspects that could benefit from verification” indicated in section 4.1.
For areas where the HEA approach was applied, decisions are also needed on the type and level of assistance to people found to be facing livelihood protection deficits.
It may be useful to update and refine the data presented in Annex I in order to update Tables 5, 6 and 7 as well as to help in programming assistance.
The 3-stage process outlined in section 1 did not work out as originally envisaged so the result of the CFSAM phase 2 probably falls short of the expectations of all concerned. There are two principal reasons for this: (i) the detailed crop production data that provided the basis for the phase-1 report were not available to either the Meher EFSA teams (in November/December 2007) or the CFSAM phase-2 team (in January 2008); and (ii) the results of the Meher EFSA had not been released officially before the phase-2 mission arrived in Addis Ababa and had still not been released when the mission left. It was, therefore, impossible for the mission to effectively integrate the outputs of the two separate exercises. In addition, the breakdown of crop production estimates by zone and woreda, to be provided by the CSA, was not available in time.
a) The crop assessment (CFSAM phase 1) and Meher EFSA are not connected
The Meher EFSA teams depend heavily on estimates of local crop performance and losses but, in 2007 as in previous years, the information from the CFSAM phase-1 crop assessment was not available to the Meher EFSA teams as they started their work. There have been two reasons for this: (i) the Meher assessment usually starts before the crop assessment has been completed,31 and (ii) the detailed data from the crop assessment including woreda-level data, zonal production estimates and the results of many crop-transects and interviews have not been summarized into a form directly usable by the Meher assessment teams. In fact, under current arrangements most of the detailed data collected and tabulated by the crop assessment teams are discarded after being synthesized for the purposes of the CFSAM phase 1 debriefing and report.
While the CFSAM phase-1 crop assessment informs the preparation of the national food balance sheet and provides basic information on the condition of the agriculture and livestock sectors, the mission believes that it should also inform the Meher EFSA.
Recommendations: (i) The recording and analysis of the crop data during CFSAM phase 1 should be re-designed to make relevant disaggregated data available within a few days of the end of the field work. (ii) The timing of the two assessment processes should be adjusted to make the CFSAM phase 1 data available to the Meher assessment teams before they go to the field. The FAO country office should try to ensure that the data are in the hands of the EFSA teams in time.
b) CFSAM phase 2 should be better synchronized with the Meher EFSA and subsequent decision-making processes
The results of the Meher EFSA had not been released officially before the phase-2 mission arrived in Addis Ababa and had still not been released when the mission left. Faced with this lack of information, the mission spent considerable time trying to compile an overall picture of the assessment teams’ findings, by woreda, and there remain some gaps and uncertainties in the compilation presented in Annex I. At the same time, discussions were ongoing within the Government on the findings of the assessment and the response required.
Recommendation: Any future CFSAM phase 2 should start with members of the mission attending the EWWG meetings at which the Meher assessment teams report their findings. This would enable the mission to hear/receive the teams’ reports directly, put questions to the team leaders/ presenters and then, on the basis of its own analysis, provide inputs that could be taken into account by the DPPA, the Government and other stakeholders when deciding on action to be taken.
c) There is need for continuity, or contacts, between the CFSAM phase-1 and phase-2 teams
The CFSAM phase-2 mission did not include any member of the phase-1 crop assessment team and the mission found it necessary to contact members of the phase-1 team for additional information and their perspectives. Fortunately, the members of the phase 1 team were contactable.
Recommendation: Either a member of the phase-1 team should be included in the phase-2 mission or arrangements must be made to ensure that the phase-1 team’s members are contactable during the phase-2 mission.
d) Variations in the reporting of assessed needs should be reduced
As noted in section 4, data were collected, analysed and reported differently, depending on whether HEA or traditional methods were being used, but also with differences in reporting among teams applying the same approach. This is a transitional problem, since the HEA approach is implemented progressively, as the baselines are developed. In the meantime, the consolidation of information from the different areas is a serious challenge.
In fact, the 2007 version of the DPPA assessment guidelines for Meher crop producing areas, unchanged from 2006, was designed for teams using the “traditional” approach. Neither the guidelines nor the format provided for reporting the estimates of needy populations (on page 19 of the guidelines) take account of the HEA approach and its outputs or the consideration of how many needy people might be covered through the PSNP. The teams using the HEA approach were given separate guidance on reporting by LIU and SCF-UK. In practice, different reporting formats were adopted by different teams, with many teams reporting emergency “pockets” additional to the numbers estimated by the HEA-LIAS analyses.
Recommendation: The DPPA guideline should be up-dated before the next seasonal assessment, if possible. As a minimum, revised standard reporting formats should be established for teams using the HEA approach and the traditional approach with clear guidance on what should be entered in the different columns including the use and interpretation of the terms (and columns) “emergency” and “pockets”.
e) A consolidated report of the findings of the Meher EFSA should be issued promptly
The Meher EFSA was completed in mid-December but the results were not officially available to the team or the participating agencies even by the end of January. This hampered the work of the mission but, more seriously, it undermines the sense of partnership and transparency that is important for the DPPA-led multi-agency process itself. The mission understands that the government needs time to decide on the action to be taken but believes that the decision-making process should be separated from the (technical) assessment reporting process.
Recommendation: The multi-agency assessment team reports should be consolidated and published promptly. Government decisions on response should be announced and explained as soon as possible but not necessarily at the same time. Publication of the reports should not be held up waiting for such decisions that include, crucially, decisions on the mechanism for response – whether through the PSNP or separate relief distributions – and what, if anything, is to be covered by an appeal.
|Assessment teams should be responsible for producing the best possible information on, and analysis of, the food security (and nutrition) situation, prospects, and the advantages and disadvantages of the response options available in the areas they assess. They should be accountable for the quality of their work and their report. Their reports should present evidence justifying their conclusions. Decision-makers in the Government and donor agencies should then assume responsibility for their decisions taken on the basis of the information available to them. This includes decisions on the particular assistance measures to be implemented and any appeal for international assistance.|
f) Recommendations of the assessment teams should be followed up
Several of the multi-agency assessment teams – e.g. those in Amhara and Orimiya regions – recorded their own recommendations for improving the assessment process. A number of them concern aspects raised in the preceding paragraphs. Others relate to practical problems that the teams faced or identified in relation to the organization of emergency response at the local level.
Recommendation: The DPPA and the EWWG should compile and review the recommendations of the assessment teams, and take appropriate action.
Number of people with emergency needs, as reported by the Meher EFSA teams, and what is to be covered by DPPA ‘relief’ and what by the PSNP
The attached table compiled by the mission presents:
in columns 2 and 4 to 11, the woreda-level data reported by the multi-agency Meher assessment teams to the EWWG meetings on 13 and 21 December 2007. Different versions of reports for some zones were found and the mission was not able to resolve all the differences, particularly for Amhara region and Sidama zone, and only zonal (not woreda) level data were found for N Gonder and S Gonder. Some of the individual figures may, therefore, be open to question and need to be corrected. However, the attached table provides at least a rough overall picture of what the teams reported in December 2007.
in column 3, the numbers of PSNP beneficiaries in each woreda in 2007 (source: WFP). The mission understands that the figures will remain largely the same for 2008 although a few pilot projects will be taken up in 8 pastoral woredas including 4 in Somali Region which is not currently within the PSNP. Note that the regional totals shown are for the whole region, not just the zones and woredas listed.
in columns 12 to 17an addendum based on data issued by DPPA three weeks after the end of the mission in a document entitled, Affected Population and Food Aid Requirements Summary by Woreda, DPPA 21 Feb. 2008, as outlined in the box below.
Addendum (as of end-Feb. 2008)
In line with the approach taken by DPPA for the non-PSNP woredas, the figures included in column 16 are those for “total emergency” needs (column 4) in the case of “traditional” assessments and “survival deficits” (column 5) for “HEA-based” assessments. However, in Oromiya region, figures for total HEA are used as figures for SD were not available for most woredas. In principle, people facing “livelihood protection deficits” (column 6) should also receive some level of assistance. The figures that appear in blue indicate differences between the assessment teams’ reported data (columns 4 to 10) and the provisions made in the DPPA requirements summary (column 12). It is assumed that many of these differences may arise from typographical, transcription or computational errors in one or other set of figures but some of the more significant differences may need to be explained. The link between the two sets of figures is fairly clear in most cases. It is less evident for Amhara region and Sidama zone, in particular, and the figures for some woredas in Somali region appear to be significantly less than those reported by the assessment teams (e.g. in Afder and Liben zones).
|Numbers of People Reported Affected by Emergencies and in Need of Assistance during 2008, by woreda, as reported by the Meher Assessment Teams, December 2007||Addendum (as of end-Feb 2008) Numbers in need of “relief” and remainder to be covered by PSNP|
|Tradition-al approach||Assessment using HEA approach||DPPA affected population and food aid requirement summary, 21 Feb. 2008||Left to be covered by PSNP|
|Region/Zone Woreda||Reported local adversity||2007 PSNP beneficiaries||Total emergency||Survival deficit (SD)||Livelihood protection deficit LPD||Total HEA (SD+LPD)||Emergency||Pockets||Emergency + pockets||No of months||Numbers needing relief||No. of months||Blend food||Numbers for close monitoring||Numbers||% of normal PSNP|
|Enbise Sar Midir||40879||3971||11452||0||0||-||-||11452||28%|
|Dabat||37617||Woreda-level data not found for N Gonder zone||-||-||?|
|Ankober||rain end early||0||1605||1605||-||-||-|
|Gishe Rabel||rain end early||24959||12381||7750||7750||-||-||7750||31%|
|Dawa Chefa||xs rain||46713||1494||-||12160||1494||3%|
|Bati||rain end early||45492||3441||7629||-||-||7629||17%|
|S.Gonder||Woreda data not found|
|Assosa||xs rain, hailstorm||0||10700||6||10700||6||✓||24500||-|
|Total Benshangul Gumuz||10700||10700||25250||0||0|
|Zone 2 / Agnura|
|Zone 3 / Nuer|
|Limu Bilbilo||xs rain||0||3000||4||3000||4||✓||3650||-|
|Dugda Bore/ Shashemene||0||-||2500||-|
|Liben||rain end early||14625||0||0||-||40000||-|
|Bena Tsemaye||rain end early||0||0||2930||2930||6||-||-|
|Total SNNPR||1 439 413||26762||14736||28584||13750||0||28143||2%||12%|
|Afder||low rainfall in zone|
|Mirab - Imi||0||17037||23324||40361||6||17037||6||-||-|
|Degehabour||low rainfall in zone|
|Fik||low rainfall in zone|
|Gode||low rainfall in zone|
|Korahe||low rainfall in zone|
|Dolo Odo||low rainfall||0||41470||82901||124371||6||-||-||-|
|Tahtay Maychew||late rains||31154||1413||11572||18752||18752||-||-||18752||60%|
|Werie Lehe||late rains||80283||11102||29635||11965||11965||-||-||11965||15%|
|Total Tigrai||1 435 707||91841||0||242754||3792||137463||141255||0||0||141255||10%||16%|
|TOTAL ALL REGIONS||7547301||486969||1103888||887084||2498357||106282||280141||219194||952503||510161||833430||11%||25%|
Observations on additional issues relating to the Meher assessment and response
This annex conveys some additional observations and suggestions of the mission on issues that could be relevant to the effectiveness of the overall assessment and response process but that do not fall within the specific terms of reference of the mission.
Procedures for meeting short-term ‘emergency’ needs through the PSNP
The PSNP mechanism and its contingency financing provision were used for the first time in 2007 to cover some short-term emergency-related needs. There were reportedly delays in the delivery of such assistance in some areas due to uncertainties concerning the procedures to be followed. The mission was informed by the Director of the Food Security Coordination Bureau (FSCB) that existing DPPA procedures should be followed, although this is not stated in the PSNP Programme Implementation Manual (PIM), which specifies only the criteria for the use of the contingency resources.
The mission also understood that, as of end-January, there had not been any exchange of information between the DPPA and FSCB concerning the extent of the assessed emergency relief needs that the PSNP might be expected to cover in 2008.
Suggestions: (i) Clear procedures should be specified in the PSNP manual and cross-referenced from DPPA guidelines for registering, and providing assistance to, additional short-term PSNP beneficiaries. (ii) In order to expedite the provision of such assistance to target beneficiaries, a procedure should also be established for an early exchange of information between DPPA and FSCB when DPPA-led assessments reveal a probable need for short-term emergency assistance to be provided to large numbers of people through the mechanism of the PSNP.
Consideration may also be given to possibilities to expedite the 9-stage request-and-approval process for use of the 15 percent regional contingency budget.
Arrangements are also required to ensure that people requiring emergency assistance who are covered through the PSNP mechanism are not “penalized” in terms of basic rations compared with those (in the same or other woredas) who benefit from DPPA emergency relief assistance. This may require the establishment of a mechanism to provide oil and pulses to people who receive grain from PSNP contingency resources.
The situation and needs of the urban poor
The Meher assessment is explicitly an assessment of the situation of rural communities. It focuses primarily on crop producers but has also recently included pastoralists and agro-pastoralists. With increasing urbanization and price inflation, the situation of the urban poor must also be considered, monitored and, when necessary, assessed in order to determine whether and when special action could be needed to make food available at subsidized prices, as was the case with the subsidized sale of 100 000 tonnes of wheat by EGTE in 2007.
Suggestion: The EWWG and the Government should consider harmonizing the food security monitoring exercises for different types of population groups.
Efforts to enhance the quality and objectivity of Meher EFSAs
The progressive introduction of the HEA approach – the use of HEA baselines and the LIA and WIA spreadsheets to model the effects of changes in conditions – is widely regarded as an important step towards increasing the objectivity as well as the accuracy of assessments in Ethiopia. Where applied, it has also broadened the assessments from being primarily crop-loss-based to a fuller analysis of household food security taking account of the other main sources of food and income available to the people concerned. It has included data on their purchasing power (partly defined as the terms of trade, or relative prices, of what they sell and purchase), essential non-food expenditures, and the effects of changes in prices and wages. However, the experience in Amhara in November/December 2007 highlights the need for sufficient time and effort to be invested so that the approach is fully understood by both the assessment teams and woreda-level officials, and able to be applied by them. This is underscored by the dependence on SC-UK for the analysis of data for Somali and Afar regions.
In regions where the traditional approach was applied, emergency needs still appear to have been estimated, at least by some of the teams, largely on the basis of reported crop losses notwithstanding the “thought process” recommended in the DPPA guidelines (page 7). The teams’ zonal reports include general information on sources of income other than crops, and on the expenditures, employment opportunities and coping strategies of certain population groups, as required by the guidelines. Often, however, there is no indication of how these aspects were taken into account when estimating the numbers of people in need of emergency assistance and in specifying the number of months during which such assistance would be required. In addition, there are few, if any, references to possibilities of compensation by replanting after floods or other local adverse events, or to the increased production of cash crops that could more than compensate for crop losses in some localities.
In all cases, the primary sources of information are officials and other key informants at woreda level – there is very little investigation or crosschecking at community level to minimize the possibility of individual and institutional biases32 – and the categorization of the severity of the situation in individual woredas appears to be lacking objective criteria.
(i) The process of developing baselines and introducing the HEA approach to other regions should be completed as rapidly as possible. Efforts to increase the number of people in government and other agencies who can fully utilize the baselines and the LIA and WIA spreadsheets should also continue.33 However, complementary data on labour and food markets (including livestock sales) could further enhance the impact analyses while increased data collection from households and community groups would reduce the present excessive reliance on, information from woreda-level officials.
(ii) Assessment teams, therefore, should be required to conduct enough community and household interviews in addition to those at woreda-level, and to report on the numbers of such interviews and the sampling procedures used. In that connection, the potential usefulness of incorporating elements of the household survey approach proposed in the soon-to-be-published 2nd edition of the WFP Emergency Food Security Assessment Handbook should be explored.
(iii) The guidelines and reporting format for Meher assessments should be updated and refined to: (a) integrate the use of the HEA baselines and LIA spreadsheets; (b) provide more guidance on community and household interviews, including sampling procedures and the required numbers of interviews as well as the data to be collected; and (c) provide guidance on determining whether and how short-term “emergency” needs might be covered through the PSNP.
(iv) The potential for incorporating other baseline information (as proposed by the 2005 ODI-HPG report34) and the LEAP35 index into the analysis should be examined.
(iv) An attempt should be made to define objective criteria for the inclusion of blended food in the ration for emergency-affected people in woredas not covered by the TSF, and verification missions should try to ensure reasonable consistency throughout the country in the application of those criteria for determining the inclusion of blended food in the relief ration.
Strategy and guidelines for verification assessments, seasonal assessments, early warning, food security monitoring and appeals
For many years, there has been an annual appeal for emergency food assistance for Ethiopia, based on the Meher assessment. The appeal and the corresponding “emergency” assistance addressed the problem of widespread chronic food insecurity as well as transitory food insecurity arising from climatic or other anomalies. In recent years, however, Ethiopia has benefited from considerably increased crop production and the government, with broad donor support, has established the PSNP to address a large part of the chronic food insecurity. The need for regular “emergency” assistance has, therefore, diminished in recent years. At the same time, “verification” assessments are supposed to be organized by the regions to vet requests for allocations from regional PSNP contingency resources and the mission was informed that similar verification assessments are to be organized to verify needs wherever a seasonal (Meher or other) assessment reports significant numbers of people expected to need emergency assistance during the coming year.
This represents a welcome new approach highlighting the need for early warning, food security monitoring, seasonal assessments, verification assessments and appeals to be better linked in a coherent, integrated system. An important first step has been taken in the drafting by DPPA and the EWWG of “An Integrated Approach for Food Security Monitoring, Early Warning and Emergency Response – Implementing Strategy for Verification Assessment”, but more work is needed.
(i) Building on the draft referred to above, an overall “Early Warning, Monitoring and Assessment Strategy” should be established as a self-standing document. Specific guidelines for “verification assessments” should then be developed and the guidelines for EFSAs, early warning and food security monitoring be refined as elements of a comprehensive, coherent package. In the meantime, concise, practical interim guidelines should be drawn up for verification assessments during 2008.36
(ii) Guidelines for “verification assessments” should cover all verifications – in both PSNP and non-PSNP woredas and for the development of recommendations for the allocation of both DPPA and PSNP contingency resources, as appropriate. As such, they should be issued jointly by the DPPA and FSCB. They should provide specific guidance on how to undertake a verification assessment where an HEA baseline exists and impact analyses have already been done during the seasonal EFSA, and where such a baseline does not exist and a ‘traditional’ approach was used. In due course, they should also include specific guidance on whether and how the FAO Integrated Phase Classification (IPC) approach might be used.
(iii) A deliberate effort should be made to ensure maximum consistency not only of approach but also of language and presentation between the EFSA and the verification guidelines in order to make their use as straight forward as possible for all concerned, especially at regional and woreda levels, and minimize possibilities for confusion.
The suggestions offered elsewhere in this report in relation to Meher assessments would apply to the (multi-agency) verification assessment missions targeted to specific areas.
N.B. If recent increases in crop production are sustained and the PSNP remains in place, it may even be appropriate, in the longer term, to reconsider the role of the annual Meher EFSAs in relation to other processes discussed above. It may be that enhanced food security monitoring through the mechanisms of the EWWG, coupled with multi-agency verification assessment missions to specific areas where there is a threat of unusual food insecurity, could provide an efficient system of identifying, assessing and responding to needs. Such a process might also be better adapted to the different crop and food-security calendars of different parts of the country. It would also be more in line with procedures in most other countries where assessments are undertaken in response to specific problems as and when necessary rather than on the basis of a fixed annual cycle.
CPI consumer price index
CSA Central Statistics Agency
DPPA Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Agency (Federal)
DPPB Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Bureau (Region)
EFSA emergency food security assessment (see note below)
EWWG Early Warning Working Group
FAO Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
FEWSnet Famine Early Warning System network (USAID)
FSCB Food Security Coordination Bureau
HEA household economy analysis
LIA(S) livelihood impact analysis (spreadsheets)
LIU Livelihood Integration Unit (in DPPA)
LEAP Livelihood Early Assessment Protection project (WFP-World Bank)
LPD livelihood protection deficit (output from an HEA-based assessment)
PSNP Productive Safety Net Programme
SC-UK Save the Children UK
SD survival deficit (output from an HEA-based assessment)
USAID United States Agency for International Development
VAC Vulnerability Assessment Committee (southern Africa)
WFP World Food Programme
WIA(S) woreda impact analysis (spreadsheets)
Emergency Food Security Assessment (EFSA) and Emergency Needs Assessment
Originally, the annual Meher assessments were entitled Emergency Needs Assessments and the focus was on estimating crop production shortfalls and corresponding relief requirements. More recently it has been recognized that broader “food security” assessments are required – that account has to be taken of not only crop performance and losses but also of a range of other factors that determine whether or not people will have access to adequate food during the coming year. These factors include income from other sources, market prices, terms of trade for livestock, etc. The annual Meher assessments are, accordingly, now called Emergency Food Security Assessments (EFSAs). The process of broadening the scope of the assessments has been supported by, amongst other initiatives, the Livelihoods Integration Unit (LIU) in DPPA financed by USAID, the progressive establishment of household economy (HEA) baselines for certain regions, and the general EFSA training organized by WFP for some DPPA and DPPB staff as well as for WFP staff. These are important developments but all areas have not yet been covered and, in 2007, the assessments in some areas still used the ‘traditional’ approach. However, for convenience, ‘EFSA’ is used in this report to describe the assessments undertaken in Nov/Dec. 2007 by all the Meher assessment teams.
This report has been prepared by Henri Josserand, Getachew Diriba, Prisca Kathuku and Ron Ockwell, with support from Elliot Vhurumuku and Sonali Wickrema under the responsibility of the FAO and WFP Secretariats. It is based on information from official and other sources. Since conditions may change rapidly, please contact the undersigned if further information is required.
Chief, GIEWS, FAO
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Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa
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1. There were also CFSAMs in a few years before that time.
2. In fact, what has often been released is an appeal based on the findings of the assessment rather than a report of the assessment as such.
3. When originally planned, this last stage was referred to as “CFSAM phase 3” but, recognizing that there are in fact only two “CFSAM” phases – one before and one after the national Meher assessment – the present exercise was relabelled as “CFSAM phase 2”. It remains the third stage of the overall 3-stage process.
4. The team included Henri Josserand, FAO/GIEWS, Getachew Diriba, WFP/ODA, and WFP consultants Ron Ockwell and Prisca Kathuku.
5. Available on line at http://www.fao.org/docrep/010/ah880e/ah880e00.htm
6. Such inputs did not, however, meet the ever-increasing demand for improved seeds, fertilizers and herbicides from the commercially orientated smallholder farmers in the surplus producing zones.
7. This compares with estimates of annual per capita consumption of 185 kg last year, and 154 kg ten years ago.
8. Especially since outside effective demand for livestock products from Ethiopia has remained very strong, supporting large export flows.
9. This includes, in particular, observers at the newly-created Ethiopian Commodity Exchange, and at the Addis Ababa Grain Traders’ Association.
10. The FY 2008 Bellmon Analysis for Ethiopia estimates that with a transport cost of US$60/ton to Djibouti, there are potential opportunities for exports to such regional markets as Somalia and Yemen. The FAO does not anticipate a sharp decrease in international grain prices in the short- or medium-term.
11. This explains why there are cross-border exports, and a risk of wheat outflows.
12. Four woredas in Somali region are to be included in a PSNP pastoral areas pilot project during 2008 but Somali region as a whole remains “non-PSNP” for purposes of emergency needs and response during 2008.
13. The Productive Safety Net Programme (PNSP) aims to provide transfers to the food-insecure population in chronically food-insecure woredas in a way that prevents asset depletion at the household level and creates assets at the community level. It consists of two components: (i) a labour-intensive Public Works component; and (ii) a Direct Support component to ensure support to those households who have no labour at all, no other means of support, and who are chronically food-insecure.
14. The cash transfer was recently raised from 6 birr/person/month to 8 birr/person/month to allow for the increased price of grain.
15. The LIAS is a tool for multi-dimensional analysis of the impact of changes in crop and livestock production and prices on the livelihoods being assessed. WIAS is a similar tool for conducting the food security analyses at the level of a woreda which may include more than one livelihood zone. For an overview of the HEA methodology applied, including the analysis process, see: Meher Seasonal Assessment Training Materials, LIU & DPPA, Nov. 2007
16. It is understood that the HEA methodology will be fully applied in Amhara for the next seasonal assessment. [Information from the LIU]
17. The DPPA EFSA guidelines call for one community interview and two household interviews in each “area”. According to information from Save the Children UK that supported the HEA-based assessments in Afar and Somali regions, teams conducted 5 community interviews in each woreda.
18. The differences arise in particular between zonal sub-totals reported in the teams’ regional summaries and separate tables that provide data by woreda.
19. The screening, using simple mid-upper-arm-circumference (MUAC) measurements, is carried out to identify and register malnourished children and malnourished pregnant and lactating women for inclusion in the WFP-assisted targeted supplementary feeding (TSF) programme.
20. The mission was informed that the problems in Sidama are related to long-standing socio-cultural issues which various organizations are attempting to address through long-term development projects.
21. Source: compilation of SC-UK emergency nutrition survey data since 2001.
22. Emergency Nutrition Quarterly Bulletin, 4th quarter 2007, January 2008, ENCU DPPA, reporting a SC-UK survey in October 2007
23. UN-OCHA Ethiopia Humanitarian Bulletin 29 Jan. 2008
24. This information was published by UN-OCHA in Situation Report, Borena zone, 29 Feb 2008.
25. E Gojam zone is missing from the 21 Feb DPPA “requirements” table even though the assessment team identified a total of 38,540 people needing assistance there in non-PSNP woredas see Annex I. The reason for this omission is unknown.
26. See also the notes at the end of Annex II concerning Strategy and guidelines for verification assessments, seasonal assessments, early warning, food security monitoring and appeals.
27. In Kurfa Chele woreda visited by a member of the mission in November 2007 there were report of low rainfall in the lowlands. At the same time, the community reported that groundnut yields had improved tremendously during the last cropping season. Income from groundnut sales could almost certainly substitute for income lost from the reported crop failure.
28. There is a particular problem with E Gojam zone, Amhara. The assessment teams reported 62,381 people facing survival or livelihood protection deficits and 38,540 people in “emergency”, but the zone does not appear in the DPPA ‘s requirements list even though only 3 of the 11 woredas are covered by the PSNP, according to the information available to the mission.
29. The assessment report available to be mission for Afar does not specify the number of months of assistance required. Information is also required on the number of months of assistance for the current PSNP caseload..
30. There is a difference between the DPPA figures (672 000 people in 37 woredas) and those published by the DPPB (745 000 people in 41 woredas). If this difference relates to the planned pilot introduction of the PSNP in 4 woredas in Somali Region starting early in 2008, careful consideration will need to be given to the practicality of registering long-term PSNP beneficiaries and temporary, short-term ‘emergency’ cases simultaneously.
31. In November 2007 the two assessments actually started at more-or-less the same time.
32. It may be no coincidence that the 2007 Meher assessment, in a fourth successive year of reported good production, has produced many reports of localized weather-adversity-related problems: agricultural officers are rewarded for (reported) increases in production while many woredas have become accustomed to annual inflows of relief. Any assessment process must be designed to minimize the influence of individual and institutional biases while also recognizing the value of professional judgement based on experience. This is especially true in relation to food security which is a complex subject and for which there is no simple, objective indicator, not least because concern is with the future – the extent to which people will be able to access adequate food in the coming months – and not just the current situation.
33. Should major economic changes occur, the baselines may need to be reviewed and up-dated but those responsible in the LIU and SC-UK do not believe that to be necessary for the time being.
34. A review of emergency food security assessment practice in Ethiopia, Nicholas Haan, Nisar Majid and James Darcy, ODI-HPG London, May 2006
35. LEAP is the WFP-World Bank Livelihood Early Assessment Protection project to provide drought-risk insurance. The principal indicator is the FAO Water Requirement Satisfaction Index (WRSI).
36. See Aspects that could benefit from further examination in section 4.3.