Alarming food situation in Ethiopia:
FAO proposes six emergency projects
ROME, 19 September 2002 -- The food
situation in several parts of Ethiopia remains alarming with
millions of people suffering from drought, the UN Food and
Agriculture Organization (FAO) said in a statement issued today.
A large number of livestock deaths and the migration of people
in search of water and pasture are being reported. FAO has
therefore launched a new appeal for US$1.9 million in support of
six emergency projects.
In particular, FAO
proposes to provide crucial veterinary instruments to poorly
equipped veterinary services in Afar and Somali Regions. This
project will benefit 30 000 pastoral families. In addition,
supplementary feed will be supplied to breeding cows.
In large parts of Tigray Region, livestock deaths have
been reported due to the drought and an increased spread of
animal diseases. Through the purchase, transport and
distribution of drugs, vaccines and veterinary equipment, FAO
will help to ensure the recovery of the cattle herds. The
beneficiaries are about 5 000 poor rural households.
FAO is also planning to provide severely
drought-affected farmers with sweet potato cuttings. The sweet
potato crop has a late planting season (October-November) and is
therefore useful for farmers when rains are delayed. About 50
000 of the most destitute farm families will benefit from this
Another project aims to
rehabilitate irrigation schemes in the most vulnerable crop
producing areas. FAO will provide horticultural seeds and
facilitate training on better utilization of irrigation schemes
for drought-affected communities. An estimated 20 000 poor
farming families will benefit from this activity.
The UN agency also proposes to provide 250 treadle
pumps and 100 motor pumps for small-scale irrigation to farmers
in Tigray Region to increase crop production and to improve the
food security of about 5 000 drought-affected families.
The projects aim to restore self-reliance
of vulnerable rural families and reduce their dependence on food
aid. FAO will work closely together with local authorities and
non-governmental organizations (NGOs).