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Ethiopia - Trade restrictions, locusts compound food insecurity in Somali Region
Pastoralists and agro pastoralists in parts of Somali Region (Korahe, Degehabur, Warder, Fik, and Gode zones) are extremely food insecure (Figure 1), due to restrictions on trade and movement that started in mid-June. Because these populations depend on the sale of livestock and livestock products to buy cereals and imported foods, such restrictions have made food access exceedingly difficult. As a result, affected populations are relying on milk and meat from their own livestock and the consumption of wild foods. While the Government of Ethiopia (GoE) and UN agencies have agreed to implement a joint response plan, delays in food distributions could lead to further deterioration of the situation. Full resumption of commercial activities remains critical to improving food security in this region.
Despite generally good animal conditions, thanks to an excellent and abnormally long 2006 deyr (October and November) season, livestock prices in restricted areas have decreased dramatically while cereal prices have increased sharply since the ban on movement and trade began. Because pastoralists cannot access markets to exchange their livestock for cereals, income sources in restricted areas are significantly reduced. Reduced income has caused a decrease in food access, caloric intake and dietary diversity, contributing to high levels of malnutrition in these areas. A nutrition survey conducted by Save the Children United Kingdom (SC UK) from October 6 to 18 in Fik and Hamero woredas indicated critical global acute malnutrition rates (using z-scores) of 20.8 percent and severe acute malnutrition rates of 1.4 percent. These are critical levels, according to the nutritional standards of both the GoE and the World Health Organization. The SC UK survey also indicated crude mortality rates of 0.56/10,000/day and an under-five mortality rate of 1.5/10,000/day.
While 2007 deyr season rains started on time in Somali region, the volume and distribution of rainfall was below average in most areas in October. Rains have improved in November in much of the region, increasing water availability and pasture regeneration. However, locust infestations threaten pasture and browse in Warder and Korahe districts, as well as in some parts of Dagahbur, Kebridahar, Dobowein and Sheygosh districts of Korahe Zone. Unless controlled, these infestations could seriously exacerbate food insecurity for pastoral and agro pastoral populations.
A UN mission to restricted areas in September recommended the resumption of livestock exports, the re-establishment of legal cross border trade with Somalia and/or increased internal trade to allow for the flow of commercial food. The mission also recommended food aid distributions for 600,000 people for three months, beginning October, and the resumption of food aid monitoring for both dispatches and distributions. Following these recommendations, GoE ministries and UN agencies have prepared joint response plans, and food aid dispatches using these revised figures have begun, though delays and logistical constraints have so far limited actual food aid distributions.
The author’s views expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of the United States Agency for International Development or the United States Government.
Hold on Somalia …
You will have a better future …
Everything will change … very soon ..
A wealthy state, surrounded by greedy ‘fighters’…
They are accountable for all these deaths.
God will comfort you one soon.
This is tragic moment for Ogaden and for true Ethiopians.
People are resorting to consuming wild foods like animals in Ogaden, how sad!.
No food has been distributed and this could lead to man made catastrophy and the commercial blockade is stil in full swing depriving the population any source of income for food and the food itself.
Woyane regime is offering a only a lip service while the region heading towards Woyane induced famine.
May be this is what the Woyane call regional development, to effectively starve everyone in the region to death.
We shouldn’t have expected any good from an evil regime.
May god bless and aid Ogaden people
Diros! Ye Ethiopian and Israelin telat anibeta newu miyatefawu!
ONLF and Meles dogs should stop destroying innocent Ethiopian people.
May peace prevail.
This is not the map of Ethiopia.
Tigray is located at the wrong place. It should be moved back to where it used to be for thousands and thousands of years since its creation.
The locusts issue is very suspicious. For yeas we know it used to be in Tigray.
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