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SEPTEMBER  30,1999

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Food Reserve Not Enough in Benshangul Gumuz State

ASSOSA, September 30 (WIC) - The State Disaster Prevention and Labour and Social Affairs Bureau said the Benshangul-Gumuz National State does not have enough food reserve in store that could be used to meet the demands of an emergency situation.

Administrative and Finance Service head of the Bureau, Ato Mezgebe Meja told WIC yesterday that only 97 quintals of wheat and 8,166 litres of edible oil was now available in the form of food reserve, about which, he said, the State Council has duly been informed.

Ato Abebe Negussie, representative of the Bureau's Early Warning Planning and Programming services, shared Ato Mezgebe's complaint and revealed that the Bureau's financial, material and food reserve capacity was currently very low.

He admitted that there has not been any drought in the area so far but noted that given      recurrent shortage of food in the State, the Bureau's food reserve capacity must be upgraded, so as to be able to provide assistance to such victims.

Ato Ephrem Yadeta, the State's Administrative and Social Affairs head however dismissed the complaint by claiming that there was no serious problem, that could qualify the state as needing in assistance, but he added, that studies were being undertaken by the State's Early Warming committee to address the concern.

The studies included those related to the expansion of food for work programmes and the preparation and submission of development projects for consideration by humanitarian organisations, he said.