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Members Discussed on the Current Drought at the 243rd General Assembly of CCRDA

Nigussie Kefeni explaining about the current drought

Nigussie Kefeni explaining about the current drought

CCRDA held its 243rd General Assembly meeting on January 28, 2015. During the meeting, a representing of the National Disaster Risk Management Commission (NDRMC), Coordinator of Early Warning and Response Team, Nigussie Kefeni, explained about the current drought situation and the concerted efforts of GOs and NGOs in addressing the challenge.

Nigussie said that the failure of the belg (mid February to May) and meher (June to September) rains had resulted in drought that is currently affecting 10.2 million people across Ethiopia. According to Nigussie’s presentation, 186 woredas are affected by the drought.

He said so far the government has spent 381 million US dollars to purchase over 797,000 metric tons of grains to fill the relief and food need for 2015 and the first quarter of 2016. The Ethiopian government is currently supporting 6.1 million beneficiaries affected by drought. Joint Emergency Operation Plan (JEOP) partners, a group of six NGOs, are helping 2.66 people, while World Food Programme (WFP) is providing food aid to 1.5 million beneficiaries that reside in Somali Regional State.

Some of the participants

Some of the participants

Nigussie noted the number of beneficiaries of the Therapeutic Feeding Program, who are children under 5 years of age and pregnant and lactating women has increased from 18,333 in January 2015 to 321,776 in November 2015.

He said generally the number of people who are in need of food aid is decreasing after August 2015 after some areas harvested what they produced with the meher rain. He said situations are expected to improve this year as the meteorological forecast indicates that most parts of the country get normal and above normal belg rain.

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Executive Director of CCRDA Expressed Concern over the Performance of the CSO Sector


Dr Meshesha Shewarega speaking about current NGO operating scene

Executive Director of CCRDA Dr Meshesha Shewarega expressed concern over the situation of the CSO sector. While updating participants of the 243rd General Assembly meeting about the current NGOs/CSOs operating scene, the Executive Director said more and more CSOs have become unable to renew their licenses. He disclosed that 58 CSOs were closed in last quarter of 2015.

“At CCRDA we are highly concerned about this and are engaging with Charities and Societies Agency. We are going to have a desk to help members in renewing their licenses and for other processes,” Dr Meshesha said.

Dr Meshesha mentioned as an issue of concern Charities and Societies Agency’s new plan regarding international NGOs that provide funds to local NGOs for project implementation. He said ChSA is planning that such NGOs do the project implementation themselves. If local NGOs cannot get funds from them, they are likely to be closed which will be a problem for the CSO sector.

Regarding CCRDA’s response to the current drought, Dr Meshesha said the Consortium summoned those member organizations that work in the humanitarian area and looked into the physical and financial space and established a task force to coordinate CCRDA members and non-members.

Some of the participants

Some of the participants

The Executive Director also told the participants that CCRDA has become a member of the National Council that coordinates the Urban Food Security and Production Safety Net Program that was designed by the government. He said CCRDA has studied what resource space is available for NGOs to implement the program and made it inclusive to CSOs working in the area of alleviating urban poverty.

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CSOs to Start Paying Premiums for Health Insurance Soon

Abduljelil Reshad

Abduljelil Reshad

Deputy Director of the Ethiopian Health Insurance Agency with the Ministry of Health (MoH), Abduljelil Reshad briefed participants of the 243rd General Assembly about the health insurance service. He said the strategy was prepared six years ago, but it has to not been implemented so far because of it was important to be sure about the readiness of health care providers. And it was also important to make sure the availability and easy access of drugs. He said 1200 government and private health facilities have now been chosen to provide the service. The government, according to Abduljelil, has decided all employed people including civil servants or NGO staff to pay premium that is equivalent to 3% of their gross monthly salaries, which is mandatory. Pensioners also have to pay 1% of their pension to get free medical treatment at the selected health institutions.

He said as it is difficult for the agency to reach all NGOs, Ethiopian Health Insurance Agency is trying to contact consortiums to have access to their member CSOs through them, so that they could understand the benefits of the service and start paying premium soon.

“Health financing has been donor dependent. And you, as CSOs, understand well how challenging it is to mobilize resources. Health insurance has been launched for we need to have reliable domestic health financing. As you know the need to raise funds domestically, I hope you will encourage us and be examples and models in implementing the health insurance policy with us,” Abduljelil said.

Abduljelil responded to various questions forwarded to him. He finally called upon the participants to discuss the insurance policy with their staff members and start saving their premiums at the bank. The Agency Deputy Director also expressed his agency’s willingness to attend similar meetings to make clear the health insurance policy to people working in the CSO sector.

 



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