January 21, Addis Tribune-Disaster Appeal Expected Today
The Disaster Preparedness and Prevention Commission (DPPC) is releasing its annual appeal today for food aid assistance
Over the past several months, teams led by the DPPC, including donors, have been assessing harvests from the main growing
season, as well as the production of livestock.
This year the situation looks worse than last year. The total number of people requiring food assistance is expected to be 7 to 8
million, higher than the final figure for last year of 5.7 million.
The appeal is expected to outline problems in various parts of the country. In the south-west of the country, the failure of the
September to November rains has left the largely pastoral areas very hard hit - with an estimated 1 million food aid
beneficiaries identified in Somali Region alone. Neighbouring zones, the Borena and Bale zones, in Oromia, have also been
Conditions are expected to have improved from last year in other parts of the Oromia Region, particularly Haraghie, where
reasonably fair rains were received.
Although the Southern Peoples' Region has seen some improvement from the recent crisis in the Konso area, larger numbers of
beneficiaries are expected this year.
In Amhara and Tigray regions, the after-effects of the failure of the belg or small rains are still being felt. The loss of livestock, in
particular oxen for plowing, has had a detrimental effect on planting in some areas. The overall number of beneficiaries is
expected to increase.
Donor response to the appeal is a matter of some concern. Already there are indications that the US government will provide
less food aid than last year, despite the larger needs. Last year a combination of underestimation of the number of beneficiaries,
combined with late donor response, almost created a disaster. This was headed off only by a major push by government,
donors and NGOs as the rainy season set in.