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Ethiopia: ICRC relief operation begins in Gode

12-04-2000 News Release 00/05

Geneva (ICRC) - An ICRC-chartered Hercules C-130 landed this morning at Gode airport carrying 15 metric tonnes of emergency food aid for the communities most severely affected by drought and famine in Ethiopia's Somali National Regional State. The emergency operation is scheduled to last at least until the end of June.

For the first two months of the operation the ICRC has set aside a total of 4,512 tonnes of aid, which will be airlifted every day from Nairobi to Gode and then delivered by road to all the villages in the districts of Imi, Gode, Denan and Adaadle.

The aid consists of rations of oil and pre-cooked fortified food (maize, soya, sugar), which is needed to supplement the wheat already distributed by the Ethiopian Disaster Preparedness and Prevention Commission.

These rations will be distributed by village elders to the 188,000 drought and famine victims in the four affected districts, where high malnutrition rates have been registered. The distributions will be monitored by ICRC relief teams in cooperation with the Ethiopian Red Cross Society.

If the " Gu " rains expected this month fail to come, the operation will last until the next harvest season in December.

 The ICRC has been working in Ethiopia since 1977. Its delegation currently employs 40 expatriates and around 150 local staff. The head office is based in Addis Ababa and there are four sub-offices in Makale, Gode, Jijiga and Harar.