5 March 2018

Ethiopia: Reports On No. of People in Need of Humanitarian Aid Baseless - Govt

Recent reports on foreign media outlets regarding the number of people in need of humanitarian assistance in Ethiopia are "exaggerated and baseless", the National Disaster Risk Management Commission said.

The reports disseminated by some foreign media outlets regarding people in need of assistance in the first six months of 2018 are 'fake', Debebe Zewede, Public Relations Director of the Commission told ENA.

"Recently, we have observed exaggerated figures with related to people in need of emergency assistance in Ethiopia by some media outlets especially from foreign media outlets. The reports are ineligible and it is the responsibility of the government to report its emergency situation in the country", he underlined.

The exact figure will be unveiled soon jointly by the government and humanitarian partners through the Humanitarian Requirements Document (HRD), he affirmed.

"The government in collaboration with all international and local humanitarian organization wills soon officially unveiled the emergency situation in Ethiopia".

An assessment have already conducted to identify on 412 vulnerable Woredas/districts, on their capacity to respond to the situation, and the magnitude of the disaster so as to determine the humanitarian need, he added.

Out of the total 412 districts, profile that include the magnitude of the problem, number of needy people as well as animal situation has been prepared for the 345 Wordas so far, according to the Director.

Regional states where the vulnerable areas are found are expected to prepare their own plan based on the result of this assessment.

The assessments conducted so far indicate the likely decrease in the number of the needy people, he noted.

"The various assessments indicate that the figure for the number of the needy population is expected to drop from the last figure released by the government, which is 8.5 million", Debebe said.

Even though the period for the previous term - second half of 2017 - has ended, the assistance has continued without interruption, he said.

"Despite the conclusion of the period for distributing food assistance, all stakeholders including the government, world food program, and nongovernmental organizations have still continued to provide their support".

He mentioned the procurement of about 400,000 metric tons of food by the government, which is expected to arrive in April as part of the sustained response activities.

In addition, over 80,000 metric tons of nutrition food has been prepared in the country for needy children, and pregnant and lactating mothers, Debebe said.

Cultivation of fodder in Somalia, Afar, and SNNP regional states as well utilization of trans-boundary rivers in Somali region for cultivation are among the activities being carried out to minimize the risk.

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