UN envoy wraps up meetings on tackling Horn of Africa’s humanitarian crisis

18 October 2004
Martti Ahtisaari

The United Nations Special Envoy working on the humanitarian crises in drought-stricken Ethiopia and Eritrea has wrapped up three days of extensive meetings on the lack of food security in the area.

Martti Ahtisaari, who visited Eritrea last week and arrived in Ethiopia on Saturday, met senior Ethiopian government officials and representatives of UN agencies, non-governmental agencies and donor countries for discussions on how to tackle the underlying causes of food insecurity and establish long-term recovery.

According to the National Meteorological Services Agency (NMSA), the rainfall outlook from now until January 2005 would be positive in areas dependent on rainfall, including the south-eastern and eastern pasture areas. This expected rainfall was expected to alleviate severe water shortage problems and improve pasture conditions, but only temporarily.

A highlight of Mr. Ahtisaari’s visit was the launch of the "Evaluation of the Response to the 2002-3 Emergency in Ethiopia," a joint analysis of the crisis by the Government and its humanitarian partners.

This trip to Ethiopia was the fourth Mr. Ahtisaari had made since he became Special Envoy of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in June 2003. He said he would now visit donor countries to try to drum up investment in the two countries.


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