The United Nations’ Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) has responded with immediate livestock intervention items and services to the drought-affected pastoral and agro-pastoral communities in Ethiopia.
FAO Representative in Ethiopia, Ms. Fatouma Seid, revealed that the intervention, targeted at 151,000 households, would foster the restoration of health and body conditions of livestock as well as reduce the mortality rate.
According to Seid, “Ultimately, the aim is to safeguard livelihoods of the targeted communities and accelerate their recovery from the effects of recurrent drought.”
She said that the FAO in collaboration with other regional, national organizations and the Ethiopian Ministry of Agriculture, is currently implementing emergency response in over three communities in the country.
“Emergency livestock response to drought-affected pastoral and agro-pastoral communities in Afar, Oromia, Somali and the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ (SNNP) regions of Ethiopia; project is being implemented in close collaboration with international, regional, and national organizations and Ethiopia’s Ministry of Agriculture,” Seid explained.
The FAO emergency response consists of treatment campaigns and helping households access the market to sell their animals, generate cash and reduce pressure on limited available pasture. Communities are also being provided with livestock feed and cash transfers to meet other essential needs.
FAO has also been raising awareness on the Livestock Emergency Guidelines and Standards (LEGS), a key handbook for designing, implementing and assessing livestock interventions to assist people.
Chief Veterinary Officer from the Ministry of Agriculture, Dr. Alemayehu Mekonnen, thanked FAO for the immediate intervention and for the consistency in their response to livestock emergencies and diseases, including the eradication of Rinderpest in Ethiopia.
According to Mekonnen,“These veterinary drugs and animal feed will reduce the effects of drought on the pastoral and agro-pastoral livelihoods.”.