A new report jointly released by the Ethiopian government and donors on the number of people in need of food aid remains unchanged. The recent figures indicated by the report is now at 7.8 million people.
The report is the result of a multi-agency Meher assessment conducted at the end of 2017.
According to Mitiku Kassa, commissioner for National Disaster and Risk Management Commission (NDRMC), lack of Belg rain in pocket areas, rainfall shortage in South and Southeastern Ethiopia and a damage caused by armyworm on maize growing areas have contributed for no improvements in the number of population in need of assistance.
“More than anything, conflict related displacement of one million Ethiopians in 2017, has contributed a lot, he said; the figure would be less.”
The internal displacement especially in Oromia and Ethio-Somali regional states put millions of Ethiopians in need of food assistance.
From the total population, who is in need of assistance, Oromia and Somali take the lion’s share with 3.2 million and 1.7 million people, respectively.
“As far as food assistance is concerned, the report while waiting for finalization of the 2018 Humanitarian Requirement Document, partners have already responded to the food needs of relief beneficiaries through the distribution of about 120,000 MT of food assistance in round 8, starting from January 2018.”
In addition to this, the report revealed that, the total population who is in need of non-food assistance has reached to 8.49 million people.
The meher harvest assessment and projections for 2018 indicate the following priority needs: 2.4 million households in need of livestock support; 3.5 million moderately acute malnourished; 350,000 severely acute malnourished; 6.05 million will be without safe drinking water.
Aside from prevention tasks, works have to be done to restore livestock resource of the pastoralist population, Mitiku said.
“Key interventions will include continued support for supplementary animal feed provision, fodder production and spate irrigation in drought-affected pastoral and agro-pastoral areas, as well as large-scale animal health campaigns and destocking, as needed,” reads Humanitarian and Disaster Resilience Plan report.
In this regard, the total required assistance of USD 104.4 million will be designated.
The aforementioned population who is in need of assistance pushed the required humanitarian assistance to USD 1.68 billion, from this USD 1.4 billion will be designated for food assistance.