Ethiopia's National Disaster Risk Management Commission says the government has allocated US$47 million for efforts to mitigate the impact drought in the country's pastoral areas.
Severe drought has hit the people of nine zones in Somali Regional State, West Gujji, Borena, the llowlands of Bale, South Omo and Segen this year.
Recalling that 10.2 million people needed assistance last year, the commission said the total number of Ethiopians needing relief support has declined to 5.6 million.
The commission's Public Relations Director, Debebe Zewede, said Thursday that the number of drought-affected people has decreased by 44 per cent in the current year.
Based on the experience of the previous year, the government is distributing cereals, nutritious food and edible oil purchased and has been working actively in collaboration with Ethiopia's development partners to raise the US$715 million required for drought-relief efforts.
He added that livestock in the drought-hit areas were being provided with fodder while some destocking was also taking place.
Taking into consideration the imminent severity of the drought, enough fodder was being distributed to calves and heifers in the drought-affected areas, the director stated, adding that the number of people needing aid could decline slightly if seasonal rains begin in March.