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03ROME3625 2003-08-11 15:19:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Rome
Cable title:  

TUFTS UNIVERSITY DISCUSSIONS WITH WFP, FAO

Tags:   EAID EAGR AORC PREF EU WFP UN FAO 
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111519Z Aug 03
					  UNCLAS  ROME 003625 

SIPDIS


AIDAC

FROM U.S. MISSION IN ROME

ADDIS FOR AMBASSADOR BRAZEL AND USAID DIRECTOR
LEWELLEN
USAID FOR ADMINISTRATOR NATSIOS, DCHA/AA WINTER,
DCHA/OFDA D/BMCCONNELL, DCHA/FFP/D LANDIS, AA/AFR,
AA/EGAT
STATE FOR A/S AF KANSTEINER, A/S IO HOLMES, A/S PRM
DEWEY, AF/EA, IO/EDA
USDA/FAS FOR U/S PENN, MCHAMBLISS, RTILSWORTH AND
LPANASUK
USUN FOR MLUTZ, LTAMLYN
NAIROBI FOR REDSO, OFDA/ARO AND USDA/FAS
GENEVA FOR RMA
BRUSSELS FOR PLERNER
NSC FOR JDWORKEN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID EAGR AORC PREF EU WFP UN FAO
SUBJECT: TUFTS UNIVERSITY DISCUSSIONS WITH WFP, FAO
AND DIPLOMATIC COMMUNITY IN ROME REGARDING ETHIOPIA,
JULY 17-18

REF: (A) Rome 2714, (B) Rome 1305

-------
Summary
-------



1. In March, U.S. Agency for International
Development (USAID) Administrator Andrew S. Natsios
dispatched a team from Tufts University's Feinstein
International Famine Center to Ethiopia to review
early warning systems related to food security
issues. On July 17 and 18, three team members
briefed the U.N. World Food Program (WFP) and the
Food and Agricultural Organization of the U.N. (FAO)
headquarters staff in Rome on their findings. They
focused on a range of food security and health issues
that need to be addressed, as food aid alone will not
end the cycle of food insecurity in Ethiopia, caused
by drought and other factors. Recommendations center
around understanding better the state of current
levels of destitution and how they relate to one's
livelihood. Traditional indigenous early warning
systems should be incorporated into the formal ones,
and artificial boundaries related to weather and
livelihoods, which have become "stovepiped" in the
current systems, are preventing them from looking
across regions. Agriculture, nutrition and health
are key links in the equation, as well. End Summary



--------------------------


Background


--------------------------





2. Faculty members from Tufts University's Feinstein
International Famine Center spent four months in
Ethiopia at the request of the USAID Administrator.
Their scope of work was: a) to analyze the capacity
of the early warning surveillance systems in
Ethiopia, determining their effectiveness; and b) to
develop potential scenarios that could take place in
Ethiopia over the coming year. Sue Lautze, Director
of the Livelihoods Initiative Program at the Famine
Center, served as the team leader and primary
briefer. She was accompanied by Angela Raven-Roberts
and Helen Young, a nutritionist. The team separately
briefed staff of FAO, WFP, and a group of diplomatic
permanent representatives to the UN Agencies in Rome.
There were good turnouts for all briefings and
substantive discussions followed. Note: The briefing
to the Rome diplomatic corps reinforced US Mission
efforts to convince other OECD donors of the severity
of the on going crisis and of the need to respond
generously (Refs A and B). End note.



3. The team provided recommendations for the two
U.N. agencies, on which this report focuses.
Although the recommendations were provided to each
agency separately, some of the recommendations apply
to both agencies. The executive summary and full
report (250 pages) can be found on the Tufts
University website at www.famine.tufts.edu.
AA/EGAT
STATE FOR A/S AF KANSTEINER, A/S IO HOLMES, A/S PRM
DEWEY, AF/EA, IO/EDA
USDA/FAS FOR U/S PENN, MCHAMBLISS, RTILSWORTH AND
LPANASUK
USUN FOR MLUTZ, LTAMLYN
NAIROBI FOR REDSO, OFDA/ARO AND USDA/FAS
GENEVA FOR RMA
BRUSS



4. Overall, the team asked the international
community to review the use of food aid in Ethiopia.
They asked the questions, "Is food aid what is most
needed in all cases? Or rather, is it the tool that
is most readily available?" Lautze's team said the
crisis in Ethiopia should be described as a
livelihood crisis rather than a food crisis, adding
that how one defines a crisis, defines how one
responds.



--------------------------


Recommendations for WFP


--------------------------





5. WFP should closely examine its targeting of food
assistance. Some beneficiaries are getting too
little food, some in need are not getting anything,
and some Ethiopians are probably getting more than
they need. Provision of food aid needs to be much
more closely aligned to nutritional status.



6. WFP should review the current ration scale for
its effectiveness and also re-consider whether all
beneficiaries should be receiving the same ration, as
is the case now. Most are currently receiving 1,320
kilocalories (kc) rather than the international
standard ration of 2,100 kc, although some are not
even receiving 1,320 kc due to non-availability of
commodities. WFP needs to exercise leadership in
maintaining the international standards. (Note:
Food aid is also channeled through a consortium of
non-governmental organizations [NGOs]. The ration
the consortium is using also needs to be reviewed.
End Note.)



7. WFP is currently not conducting food-basket
monitoring (done at the time of distribution), nor
post-distribution monitoring. It should begin doing
both.



8. WFP's ability to conduct assessments should be
strengthened.



9. WFP should focus greater effort on helping to
build the capacity of the government in outlying
areas. Woreda (district/township-level) offices are
without basic office supplies and transport capacity.



10. WFP should strive to better understand how
pastoralists use food aid and make appropriate
adjustments to its program in those areas.



11. WFP, as one of the most active U.N. agencies (if
not the most active) working in Ethiopia, should
advocate for more involvement from other U.N.
agencies and the "line ministries" such as the
Ministry of Health, to tackle food security and
health issues.



12. WFP should examine ways in which food aid can be
used to help in protecting the environment.
UNCLAS SECTION 03 OF 04 ROME 003625

SIPDIS

AIDAC

FROM U.S. MISSION IN ROME

ADDIS FOR AMBASSADOR BRAZEL AND USAID DIRECTOR
LEWELLEN
USAID FOR ADMINISTRATOR NATSIOS, DCHA/AA WINTER,
DCHA/OFDA D/BMCCONNELL, DCHA/FFP/D LANDIS, AA/AFR,
AA/EGAT
STATE FOR A/S AF KANSTEINER, A/S IO HOLMES, A/S PRM
DEWEY, AF/EA, IO/EDA
USDA/FAS FOR U/S PENN, MCHAMBLISS, RTILSWORTH AND
LPANASUK
USUN FOR MLUTZ, LTAMLYN
NAIROBI FOR REDSO, OFDA/ARO AND USDA/FAS
GENEVA FOR RMA
BRUSSELS



13. WFP should closely examine and better understand
the connection between destitution and food aid.



--------------------------


Recommendations for FAO


--------------------------





14. A lot of data has been collected by various
institutions, but the capacities to analyze the data
are very weak. FAO needs to greatly strengthen the
links between the early warning systems and its
responses, which require the analysis and
understanding of what the data indicates.



15. Early warning systems should also incorporate
traditional indigenous early warning systems rather
than only focus on formal systems. Artificial
boundaries (i.e., "stovepiping") related to weather
and livelihoods imposed on the current systems are
preventing them from looking across regions.



16. FAO needs to take the lead in working with the
Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) to strengthen its
ability to respond to emergencies. The emergency
response capacity currently rests almost entirely
with the national government's Disaster Prevention
and Preparedness Commission (DPPC), which is not
strongly focused on agriculture.



17. FAO needs to strengthen its assessment process
in preparation for its appeal to respond to revolving
emergencies in Ethiopia.



18. FAO needs to take the lead in linking food
security downfalls to livelihoods and nutrition. The
links are not being made now. This would call for a
true understanding of the various livelihoods that
exist in Ethiopia and the coping mechanisms that come
into play in each livelihood. Marketing, storage,
crop diversity, and drought resistant crops each need
attention.



19. FAO needs to contribute to the development of a
recovery strategy, which requires an understanding of
the level of destitution that currently exists.
Destitution exists not only from the current drought
or from 1999-2000, but some people told Lautze's team
they were still recovering from the 1984 drought.



20. Pastoralists' concerns are divided among three
government ministries and thus are not consistently
or holistically addressed. FAO needs to push the
Ministry of Agriculture to actively address problems
of pastoralists. (Note: The lack of milk in the
diet due to the death of animals or low weight of
animals is a primary cause of malnutrition among the
population in the pastoralist areas. End Note.)



21. The repeal of the Saudi Arabia ban on the import
of animals, stemming from fear of Rift Valley Fever
and other animal diseases, needs to be a UN priority.
FAO should take the lead in working with donors on an
action plan to resolve the present impasse.
AA/EGAT
STATE FOR A/S AF KANSTEINER, A/S IO HOLMES, A/S PRM
DEWEY, AF/EA, IO/EDA
USDA/FAS FOR U/S PENN, MCHAMBLISS, RTILSWORTH AND
LPANASUK
USUN FOR MLUTZ, LTAMLYN
NAIROBI FOR REDSO, OFDA/ARO AND USDA/FAS
GENEVA FOR RMA
BRUSS



22. FAO should assist with environmental management,
including water management.



--------------------------


Comment


--------------------------





23. Lautze and her team have compiled a well-
researched and targeted report. To fully embrace the
recommendations will take concerted and devoted
efforts over months, if not years, in Ethiopia. But
the work will be well worth the effort and is crucial
to getting out of the cycle of a continued, and ever-
growing, stream of food aid into Ethiopia. The
Ethiopians, as well as the international community,
will reap the benefits of our endeavors.



24. Minimize considered. Hall


NNNN
2003ROME03625 - Classification: UNCLASSIFIED