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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The latest humanitarian requirement document released to public on August 19, 2015  shows that the number relief food beneficiaries has risen to 4.5 million; an increase by 55 pc and 36.3 pc from figures registered in January 2015, and the annual forecast of this year, respectively. The report was jointly released by the Ethiopian government and humanitarian partners.
Regional distribution of the number of beneficiaries in Oromia, Somali and Amhara regional states, hit the first three ranks with 1.8 million, 1.08 million and 639,876 beneficiaries, respectively.
The report also stated that funding requirements for food and non food items showed a 10.6pc increment to 386 million dollars, an increase from the figure forecasted in January, 2015. Of the total financial requirement 48pc of it is yet to be covered.
In terms of financial requirements for relief divided in sectors, the requirement for relief food stands at 312 million dollars, of which 154 million dollars are available and the remaining 158 million dollar net requirement is yet to be secured.
“The response of the government along with its partners will allow us not to change drought to famine; this is the struggle that we are now trying to make even now, at this critical time that we are expecting more support from our partners to make this to happen”, said Tadesse Bekelle senior disaster risk management advisor at Disaster Risk Management & Food Security Sector at Ministry of Agriculture in his speech during the official release of the document.
The report attributed inadequate rainfall received from May and June that was caused by the El Niño effect. For instance, the Belg rains in Amhara Region was below normal for both crop and livestock production in most areas of North and south Wollo and north Shewa zones, reads the report. Again in Oromia Region the shortage and delay of rainfall caused crop failures, yield reduction and livestock deaths.
Following the failure of the Belg season and prior to the release of this document there was a resistance from regional government in terms of acknowledging the problem, said an expert in humanitarian emergency response who works  in an NGO operating in Oromia, Afar and Tigray regions who spoke to Fortune on conditions of anonymity.
Moreover there was hesitation from donors in understanding the extent of the problem and offering their help. Rather, greater priority was given to other humanitarian hotspots such as as Syria, Iraq, Ukraine, West African countries and South Sudan added the anonymous source.
He hopes that this resistance will fade upon the release of the official report showing the seriousness of the problem.
In 2014 alone, at the global level, 107 million people were affected by disaster caused by natural hazards; and humanitarian assistance reached 24.5 billion dollars, a 19pc increase from 2013’s figure.
Following Ethiopian government’s acknowledgment of the problem, the federal government has budgeted 700 million Br to address the problems that recurred with a shortage of rainfall in kiremtseason.
Specific to the most affected areas of Afar and Somali, 96 million Br was allocated for seed purchase and animal feed and 30 million Br for livestock related efforts in the aforementioned regions, said Wondimu Filate, deputy communication head at the MoA.
The announcement was done along with the ceremony conducted to mark World Humanitarian Day at Elilly Hotel with the presence of representatives from the Ethiopian government and the humanitarian community.

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