- Ethiopia continues to face high levels of food insecurity, with an estimated 6.2 million people requiring emergency food assistance from July 2009 until the end of the year, the World Food Programme has warned.
The agency has said the number of people requiring emergency assistance was also an increase of 1.3 million people over the January figures. “Based on current estimates, the total food requirement from June to December is 462,500 mt. Both estimates are expected to be revised based on the findings of the assessment, which are expected in August,” the agency said.
WFP also said food security in the belg-crop producing parts of the country, as well as the eastern meher crop producing areas, is expected to deteriorate further during the July-September period, following the poor belg harvest and depletion of stocks from the pervious meher harvest.
In the pastoral region of Afar, the southern areas of Oromiya and most of zones of Somali region, the agency noted that rains during the past three seasons have been below-normal, including the sugum -March to May of 2009.
“Food security is poor and is expected to deteriorate further as the main season karma/karran (July to September) rains are forecast to be below-normal,” said the WFP.
It however continue that over the next six months, food security in the southern zones of Somali region, neighbouring lowlands of Oromia and South Omo Zone of SNNP Region is expected to improve with the onset of the deyr (October-December) rains. WFP however said the respite will likely be short-lived and food security will continue to heavily depend on external assistance.
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