As part of its ongoing support for Productive Safety Net Program IV, the World Bank is financing the procurement of 70,000 metric tons of wheat at an estimated cost of USD 31.5 million contributing to the mitigation of drought conditions and risk of food shortage in different parts of country, The Reporter has learnt.
Hence, the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources has placed an urgent order with the Public Procurement and Property Disposal Service to issue a tender.
The purchase would help mitigate the impact of the current drought that put 8.5 million people at risk, and Ethiopia needs USD 480 million in financing to address the food shortage challenges posed by the current drought condition.
Some 63 percent of the USD 480 million in financing will be covered by the Ethiopian government, with 20 and 17 percent covered by World Food Program and international donors, respectively.
The recent drought assessment report, which was conducted by 200 experts across 177 woredas for almost three weeks, indicated that the number of people in need of help has increased from 7.8 million to 8.5 million.
From the total number of potential beneficiaries, 3.6 million are children as well as expecting and nursing mothers who are at risk of malnourishment.
In addition, 10.5 million people still need to get access to clean water and 2.2 million households need livestock support.
Recently, FAO announced that close to two million livestock had died because of the drought.
Aside from the safety net program, close to 1.7 million metric tons of wheat was distributed over the past two months.
Moreover, as part of the safety net program, 5,000 metric tons of wheat was purchased in January 2017 at a total cost of USD 1.5 million.
In addition, more than 70,000 metric tons of wheat will be purchased in September 2017, according to Procurement Plan of Productive Safety Net Project IV (PSNP IV).
The project (PSNP IV) commenced in 2014 is to phase out in 2020. It has a total project cost of USD 2.6 billion.
“We have already received an urgent notice from the ministry to conduct the latest order,” said Assefa Solomon, communications officer with the service.