Ethiopia's Humanitarian Bulletin, 28 Apr 2008


Posted 29th April 2008

Ethiopia: Humanitarian Bulletin, 28 Apr 2008

United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)


Rains have been reported during the twenty days of April in the drought affected areas of Somali, Borena, and eastern parts of Oromiya and SNNP regions. The impact of the rains on the food security environment has varied considerably.

In Somali Region, the gu rains have started in southern and central woredas of Afder, Liben and Gode zones temporarily alleviating water scarcity in Filtu, Gode, Adadle, Moyale, Hargele, Charati and Hudet woredas. Water tankering operations have been suspended in Filtu, Adadle, Moyale and Hudet woredas. The impact to the rains on the regeneration of pasture however, is limited particularly in Geladi woreda of Warder zone and parts of Kebridehar, Shilabo and Sehgosh woredas of Korahe zone. Despite the good rains the supply of food commodities continues to be limited in most markets of Gode, Liben and Afder zones. As a result, terms of trade remains unfavorable for pastoralists with continued price increase in food commodities and decline in livestock value in most markets.

In SNNP and Oromiya regions, heavy to moderate rainfall was recorded in the second week of April. According to CARE the amount of rainfall in Southern parts of Afar and Fentale and Borena areas of Oromiya was insufficient and unevenly distributed. The report indicates that although the rains improved water availability for human and livestock consumption, shortage of pasture remains in Borena, East and West Hararghe zones of Oromiya and Southern parts of Afar regions. For further information contact: &


A recent OCHA mission to Afar Region reported critical water shortage in Elidar, Kore, Bidu and Chifra in Zone 1; Erebti woreda in Zone 2; Argoba woreda in Zone 3; and Teru woreda in Zone 4. Livestock migration was reported from Kore and Bidu to the Awash basin in Aysaita and Dupti woredas and livestock from Chifra, Zone 2 and Zone 4 have started migrating to the adjacent highlands of Amhara and Tigray regions. Since mid March the regional government and Afar Pastoralist Development Association are providing water tankering in Kore, Bidu and Elidar woredas. Theses activities will end shortly due to funding considerations.

The sugum rain, between mid March and end of April, was delayed in most woredas by almost one month and the amount and distribution of the rains was poor. The mission indicates that the food security situation could further deteriorate until the next rainy season, which starts at the end of June. Contact:


The latest FEWS NET and WFP food security outlook reports that high food prices and overall inflation throughout the country have exacerbated the food security problem, particularly for the urban poor, agriculturalists, pastoralists, and agro-pastoralists that depend on the market. According to the Central Statistics Authority, country-level general food inflation has reached 29.6 percent. The elevated prices have significantly affected the purchasing ability of the poor in urban and rural areas. The Government has made attempts to stabilize food prices, including the most recent lifting of value-added and turn-over taxes on food items. It also distributes subsidized wheat to approximately 800,000 needy households in major urban areas. For further information contact: &


Approximately 320 meningitis cases and 10 deaths were reported with Case Fatality Rate (CFR) of 3.1 percent from Oromiya, SNNP, Tigray, Amhara, Afar and Addis Ababa to date. The majority of the cases were from Oromiya and SNNPR. In response, WHO supported the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) and the Regional Health Bureaus vaccinate a total of 140,231 people against meningococcal meningitis in four regions – 75,275 people in SNNP; 55,899 people in Oromiya; 8,475 people in Addis Ababa and 347 people in Amhara. Fund mobilization for better preparedness and response to a possible large scale meningococcal meningitis outbreak in Ethiopia is ongoing with the support from WHO.

As of January, a total of 6,880 measles cases and 13 deaths with 0.2 percent CFR have been reported across the country. The cases were from outbreak incidences and sporadic cases from 29 woredas in seven regions. The majority of the cases were reported from Guji zone in Oromiya. The FMoH in collaboration with WHO and humanitarian partners provided measles supplementary immunization to 91,464 children between the ages of 6 to 59 months in four woredas of Guji zone. Fund mobilization is progressing to conduct large scale immunization campaign in SNNP and Oromiya regions. Contact:

Source: OCHA