- A lack of resources for emergency relief efforts in Ethiopia threatens to cut off food aid delivery to the most vulnerable people in the coming days, the United Nations humanitarian arm has warned today.
“All food aid pipelines to groups of needy people in the country could break in September,” the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in an update on the situation in the Horn of Africa nation.
Poor rains in eastern Africa this year has produced crises in the areas of food, nutrition, water and disease among others, leaving some 24 million people in need of aid - up from 17 million last year - across the region, in Djibouti, Eritrea, Kenya, Somalia and parts of Uganda, as well as Ethiopia.
OCHA noted that currently food aid distributions planned between September and December face a deficit of some 56,789 metric tons valued at $37.1 million.
In addition, a joint mission, consisting of various UN agencies and the Ministry of Health, is in the Amhara region to assess an outbreak of acute watery diarrhoea, which has struck a number of regions, to ensure adequate measures are in place to prevent infections gathering pace in schools and religious and traditional festivals, among other areas.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) also reported that major gaps in the ongoing response to the outbreak include shortages of Case Treatment Centre materials, funds for running the centres, inadequate protection of water sources and poor hygiene practices.
Meanwhile, the UN agencies are stepping up emergency relief efforts in West Africa where severe flooding has affected 600,000 people, damaging infrastructure, schools and hospitals, inundating large swathes of farmland and destroying crops.
Burkina Faso, Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Niger and Senegal are the worst affected countries, according to the agencies.
“In Burkina Faso UN agencies and their NGO partners have launched a flash appeal for $18.4 million to respond to the flood emergency. Only 1.6 percent of the required amount has been contributed,” OCHA reported today.
In Senegal, where authorities estimate that nearly 264,000 have been affected, the UN has delivered more than 20 tons of relief supplies from its humanitarian warehouse in Brindisi, Italy, including water purification equipment, pumps, generators, tents and water tanks.
In Guinea, at least 30,000 people have been affected, according to a joint humanitarian rapid assessment, and local authorities in collaboration with UN agencies and NGOs are compiling a report on how best to meet the needs of those affected.
In Niger, some 80,000 people are affected. Many of these initially sought shelter in schools and efforts are underway to relocate them to other sites before schools reopen in the next few days.
The WHO has also handed over 3,400 mosquito nets to the authorities as well as $15,000 worth of drugs. A mission of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has conducted a rapid assessment of crop damage; its results are pending.
The UN Development Programme (UNDP) has mobilized $300,000 for the Niger flood emergency. Some $50,000 of the funds will be used to develop an early warning system.
In Ghana, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has provided 200 mosquito nets, medicines and non-food items, while the UN World Food Programme (WFP) has provided food for 10,000 people for 30 days.
afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.
afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.