UNICEF Ethiopia Humanitarian Situation Report #3 – Reporting Period: 7 - 20 March 2017
Meteorological forecasts indicate a normal to below normal Gu rains (March to May), particularly in the Somali region and southern pastoral lowlands, which may result in a deepening of the drought.
Parts of pastoral Afar, crop dependent Tigray, Amhara, SNNPR and Oromia regions are also expected to receive below average spring Belg rains.
Severe acute malnutrition (SAM) admission data for children under five shows a decrease from December 2016 to January 2017 in all the regions except Somali and the drought-affected zones of Oromia.
To ensure safe water is available at household level, UNICEF provided 5 million sachets of household water treatment chemicals and 17,000 jerry cans to Afar and Somali regions.
In response to the ongoing acute watery diarrhoea (AWD) outbreak, during the reporting period, 14 case treatment centre (CTC) kits were dispatched to Somali region; 50 additional CTC kits are in the pipeline.
SITUATION IN NUMBERS
5.6 million people* require relief food assistance in 2017
303,000 children* are expected to require treatment for SAM in 2017
9.2 million people* require access to safe drinking water and sanitation services
2 million school-aged children* require emergency school feeding and learning materials assistance
There are 811,555 refugees in Ethiopia (UNHCR, February 2017)
HRD, January 2017
Situation Overview and Humanitarian Needs
Meteorological forecasts indicate normal to below normal Gu rains (March to May), particularly in the majority of Somali region, which may result in a deepening of the drought. In Somali region, the Gu rains are important for the availability of water and pasture and contribute 50 to 70 per cent of the annual rainfall. In Southern Nations, Nationalities and People’s (SNNP) region, some rain was received in the highland areas but not enough so far to have a positive impact on the situation; while no rains were received in the lowland areas.
According to the 2017 Humanitarian Requirement Document (HRD) released by the Government of Ethiopia (GoE), some 5.6 million people are in need of food assistance due to the severe drought. Seventy five per cent of these people in need of food aid are found in Oromia, Somali and SNNP regions that also have incurred heavy loss of livestock. The remaining animals are in poor physical condition, having an impact on the nutritional status of children due to reduced or absence of milk production. These regions are currently facing an extreme scarcity of water. In Somali region, a high number of pastoralists facing severe food and water shortages have gathered in temporary settlement areas near the remaining water points where they are being assisted by GoE and humanitarian partners.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction & Management Council (NDRMC) is preparing to initiate a pre-Belg assessment at the end of March to determine development of humanitarian needs, particularly in the regions of concern. The Belg assessment will be conducted in June as usual. The findings will inform revisions in humanitarian response planning. Following delayed and poor rains in the south eastern part of the country, the NDRMC has expressed its concern about the possible deterioration of the drought situation.
Limited number of NGOs partners in Somali region compounded with poor availability of funds is hampering the humanitarian response. Funding situation of the HRD is of serious concern as the situation is quickly deteriorating in drought affected pastoral areas and humanitarian needs are expected to increase sharply in the coming weeks and months, possibly expanding to crop dependant areas.