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Ethiopia to procure wheat for emergency relief

Ethiopia to procure wheat for emergency relief

In a bid to help those in need of assistance, the Ethiopian government is to procure another round wheat purchase amounting to 200,000 metric tons, The Reporter has learnt.

The latest purchase announcement came a week after a similar procurement of 400,000 metric tons of wheat was announced. However, this was intended to stabilize the market.

As far as the latest intention to procure the 200,000 metric tons of wheat is concerned, an international open bid has already been floated. The Public Procurement & Property Disposal Service (PPPDS) is handling the bid process on behalf of the National Disaster Risk Management Commission (NDRMC).

Once the procurement process is completed, the wheat will be used to feed those who are in need of food assistance.

According to Ethiopia's Humanitarian Response Plan, launched back in April, there were 8.3 million people affected by drought and internal ethnic conflicts, desperately in need of assistance.

According to the response plan, the targeted 8.3 million people are in need of emergency food and non-food assistance. From the total, 3.19 million were Internally Displaced Persons (IDP’s).

Ethiopia needs USD 1.31 billion to execute the response plan. According to reports in August, Ethiopia has so far managed to get only half of the cost needed to execute the plan.

The latest two purchase of wheat came following months of controversy with delays and a nationwide shortage of wheat. It can be recalled that just a month ago, 2300 metric tons of wheat imported and stored at the Port of Djibouti for more than five months, has been exposed to contamination. The import is thought to be worth around USD one million. The wheat, which was stored in DP’s warehouses, was supposed to be loaded on time and transported to Ethiopia.

In the same token, in April 2019, the same bulk of wheat amounting to 24,250 metric tons of wheat was stored in a warehouse and was exposed to contamination as well. In this regard, the latest 2,300 metric tons of wheat is part of the aforementioned supply which was not properly loaded from the port.

FAO’s report states that, international prices of wheat have shown a decline in August 2019, and “remained under downward pressure, reflecting ample export availabilities.”

On the other hand, “Global Cereal supplies in 2019/20 are expected to be higher than what was anticipated earlier, following this month’s rise in the world cereal production forecast,” according to FAO.