Mid-Year Review of the Consolidated Appeal for Eritrea 2005
In November 2004, the United Nations, in collaboration with the Government of the State of Eritrea (GSE) and the Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) community, launched the Consolidated Appeal (CAP) for Eritrea 2005 in which programmes amounting to approximately US$ 157.15 million were laid out. Funds appealed for were designed to combat continuing chronic household food security problems, raising levels of malnutrition, as well as ensuring basic cross-sectoral services to the most vulnerable Eritreans among others.
The food security situation worsened in the last half of 2004 and continued in this pattern throughout the early months of 2005. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) World Food Programme (WFP) post-harvest Crop and Food Supply Assessment (CFSAM) conducted in November 2004 estimated a cereal production of 85,000 MTs, down from 106,000 metric tonnes (MTs) in 2003/2004 and below the average of the last 12 years. Compounding this, the inflation of cereal prices over the last year was between 50 to 100%. The overall food aid distributions throughout the first half of 2005 has varied between approximately 75% (first quarter) and 55% (second quarter) of the CFSAM mission projected food aid requirements primarily as a result of food pipeline concerns. Factors such as low production, inflation of market prices and insufficient food assistance being distributed, has further exhausted already overstretched coping mechanisms of the poor.
The stalemate in the peace process between Eritrea and Ethiopia over the continuing border dispute also adds another constraint to both household and national coping mechanisms. Many investment programmes are postponed, and families are often missing their men folk as a result of conscription, placing an unprecedented burden on women and children. While the nutritional status of the population remains stable, it is also locked at levels that do not allow proper health and growth development. Four out of six districts were covered by nutritional surveys in the last quarter of 2004, where an average of 14% of children and 40% of women were acutely malnourished.
Overall financial contributions to the CAP follow similar patterns to previous years with late pledging by the donor community: including funding levels that have reached only about 59% of WFP food requirements. With funding levels for non-food sectors below last year’s, some agencies have been forced to reduce support in vital areas such as health and water. One fundamental difference between CAP 2004 and 2005 is that in non-food activities in particular, there were far fewer funds available for carry-over in 2005 than from the previous year, which has contributed to the delay in implementation of many important programmes.
The protracted humanitarian crisis has rendered the poorest Eritreans even more vulnerable. The Common Humanitarian Action Plan (CHAP), which places emphasis on life saving sectors and offers limited support for recovery, remains valid. As such, even those projects that have received no or limited funding will generally be maintained – as the needs have increased relative to last year. The most important emphasis in the coming months will be on improving response to food and food security projects (food and nutrition, water, agriculture, recovery activities) in order to avoid even greater human suffering.
In light of the changes in the context and consequent humanitarian needs, financial requirements have been revised to US$ 156.4 million. With the donor response standing at 52% as of 10 June 2005, requirements for the remainder of 2005 total US$ 74.5 million.