This answer has been provided by the British government to a question in Parliament. I have added information from UN below.


To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment her Department has made of (a) the effect of the drought in the Horn of Africa on Eritrea and (b) the response of the Eritrean government and the international community to that drought. (19567)

Tabled on: 10 December 2015

Mr Nick Hurd:

Official food security and nutrition data for Eritrea for this year has not yet been released, but the late onset of rains, relatively low volume of rainfall, and significant soil moisture deficits are likely to have had a negative impact on both farming and pastoral communities. The country and regional offices of the World Food Programme and UNICEF are monitoring the situation closely.

DFID is funding nutrition support activities in areas affected by El Nino in the Horn of Africa through UNICEF’s regional programme, which covers Eritrea

The answer was submitted on 15 Dec 2015 at 16:42.

UN update

Page 16 of the report notes that between 2011 and 2013 WFP reported that 60% of Eritreans were undernourished. At the present time 1.2 million people need food aid.

And – “Operations and the maintenance of established humanitarian systems remain a significant challenge.”

In other words, the Eritrean government refuses to allow these normal procedures to be established and maintained.