A joint FAO/WFP report predicts near-record crop yields in Ethiopia this year, but warns that some 2 million people will still require 180,000 mt of food aid in 1999. Cereal and pulse yields were forecast to reach 11.69 million mt, up 36 percent on last year’s poor harvest. But even with improved yields, food security has remained chronic in many parts of the country because of limited availability and access to food, according to a FAO/WFP statement received by IRIN. Overall, the joint assessment mission estimated a sharp drop in food aid needs for 1999. Of the roughly 180,000 mt required, 35 percent is needed for the Amhara region, 33 percent for Oromo and 20 percent for Tigray. The estimate does not include relief aid requirements for pastoral areas nor Ethiopians displaced by the border conflict with Eritrea.