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UN Relief Official To Visit Eritrea

UN Relief Official To Visit Eritrea To Help Improve Food Security

New York, Oct 12 2006 12:00PM

A senior United Nations relief official arrives in Eritrea tomorrow for a six-day visit to assess the food situation in the East African country, where recent rains should mitigate the impact of drought while the “no-war-no-peace” status of the conflict with Ethiopia is aggravating the vulnerability of people in some areas.

The situation with Ethiopia affects the “coping mechanisms and return to more stable lives,” the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a news release today ahead of the mission by Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Special Humanitarian Envoy for the Horn of Africa, Kjell Magne Bondevik.

“This is particularly so for internally displaced people and groups that were recently resettled in their places of origin, where basic services are progressively being re-established. Mr. Bondevik is interested in gaining more insight into the chronic humanitarian situation in Eritrea,” it added.

The rainy season in 2005 and the rains of the last three months have been good and this should lead to better harvests.

Mr. Bondevik will meet with senior Government officials and members of the international community including donors, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the Red Cross/Red Crescent movements and the UN system to discuss strategies for strengthening partnerships and ensure that assistance is as effective, timely and efficient as possible.

He will also look at long-term approaches to reduce the country’s vulnerability to the impact of recurrent drought and conduct a field visit to witness ongoing activities related to food security.

ends

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