Ethiopia faces large food shortfall for over 6 million drought victims –

“Given current trends in Ethiopia, the humanitarian situation in the country is likely to deteriorate further in scale and complexity in 2010,” the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said.“In the Somali Region, the area worst affected by drought, access for humanitarian workers in conflict-affected zones remains extremely difficult.”The number of those in need has been increasingly steadily since January when 4.9 million required assistance, rising to 5.3 million people in May and 6.2 million currently due to the failure of successive rainy seasons in 2009, according to a humanitarian requirements document unveiled in Addis Ababa today. The document is based on multi-agency needs assessments carried out in June and July.The food security situation was already weakened by poor rains in 2008 and the impact of the high food prices globally.Total food requirements are estimated at 346,915 tons, including 280,903 tons of cereals, 29,495 tons of blended food, 28,090 tons of pulses and 8,427 tons of oil. At present, resources available to meet these requirements, including confirmed pledges, amount to 187,505 tons, leaving a net shortfall of 159,410 tons, worth approximately $121.3 million.An additional $8.9 million is required to address targeted supplementary food requirements and $45 million to address non-food requirements in the health and nutrition, water and sanitation and agriculture and livestock sectors. 22 October 2009Ethiopia needs an additional $175 million this year to help feed 6.2 million people ravaged by prolonged drought and crop failure, about 8 per cent of the population, the United Nations humanitarian arm reported today, citing the Government and aid agencies.