Contribution to IFRC Horn of Africa Food Security Crisis Appeal
This initiative constitutes a contribution to the IFRC "Horn of Africa: Exceptional Food Security Crisis" Appeal, the revised version of which was launched in June 2009 to assist communities in the Horn of Africa affected by the current complex food-security crisis. Within the area of operation, the contribution is being earmarked for the IFRC operation in Ethiopia.
Overall food-security remains highly problematic in the Horn of Africa. Even though the significant drop in cereals prices in the world markets was followed by a similar decrease in the cost of food in local markets, many families in the region continue to rely on food assistance as prices remain high. Pastoralists, especially in the hot and arid lowlands, remain at very high risk in all of the affected countries. Outbreaks of cholera in Kenya and AWD in Ethiopia illustrate the additional risks they face as a result of constant water stress. Rains have again come late and remain erratic in all of the areas that are covered by the operation.
With regard to Ethiopia, some rain has come to the lowlands but overall it has been late and often erratic: while any rain helps pastures to regenerate to some extent, it will not help the pastoralists to recover from the high levels of livestock mortality. The poor performance of the 2009 (February to June) rains resulted in very poor and, in certain regions, almost zero harvests and were followed by a long dry season since then, negatively affecting pasture, water, and livestock. Even in those areas, where there has been some rain, this has not relieved the situation of those pastoralists who were worst affected by the food crisis and widespread animal mortality of 2008.
The IFRC with its partner the Ethiopian Red Cross Society focuses on providing assistance in the following sectors: Water, sanitation and hygiene promotion; Food relief assistance; Health and care; Livelihoods; Risk reduction efforts and capacity development towards improved resilience.