chapter  2
18 Pages

Ethiopia: NGO Consortia and Coordination Arrangements, 1984-91

The success of the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF)2 and the consequent fall of the Mengistu regime in May 1991 marked the end of the 'complex emergency' which had persisted for much of the previous decade. The 'complex emergency' was the product of a number of factors. Principly these were: the effects of the Government of Ethiopia's (GOE) social and economic policies which aimed at collective ownership and centralised direction; the conflict between the GOE and the Fronts which disrupted trade and resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of non-combatants as well as combatants; and droughts which affected all areas of the north in 1984 and parts of the north variously during the second half of the decade. These factors interacted to produce a significant deterioration in food security, massive population displacements and substantially increased morbidity and mortality, including those casualties directly caused by the conflict throughout the period. The 1984/85 famine marked the period of greatest mortality. Estimates of the overall excess mortality during the period from the early 1980s to 1991 vary widely, but would appear to be in the region of 800,000 to 1,100,000.