Ethiopia’s cereal stock expected to run out next month, UN warns

22 February 2005

With 2.4 million Ethiopians needing immediate food aid, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) estimates that cereal stocks in the Horn of Africa country could run out by next month.

Only a quarter of the scheduled food assistance could be distributed last month, while the number of people in need was rising to 2.9 million in March and 3.1 million in April, OCHA said today.

It quoted the UN World Food Programme (WFP) as saying only 11 per cent of the emergency food required in March have been provided by donors, leaving a shortfall of 39,000 metric tons of cereals.

Less than a quarter of the 387,500 tons of food needed for the year is available, while the number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) fleeing conflicts between the people of the Oromiya and Somali regions over which should control the Meisso District is growing.

Meanwhile, although the Productive Safety Nets Programme to give the hungry food and cash was launched in the middle of this month to serve approximately 4 million people in the Amhara, Tigray, Oromiya and Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples (SNNP) Regions, distributions had not started, OCHA said.


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