Ethiopia: Drought - 2015-2018Ongoing
While Ethiopia battles residual needs from the 2015/2016 El Niño-induced drought, below average 2016 autumn rains in the southern and southeastern parts of the country have led to a new drought in lowland pastoralist areas, as well as in pocket areas across the country. As a result, some 5.6 million people in Ethiopia require emergency food assistance in 2017. In addition, 2.7 million children and pregnant and lactating mothers require supplementary feeding, 9.2 million people need support to access safe drinking water, 1.9 million households need livestock support, and 300,000 children between 6-59 months old are targeted for the treatment for severe acute malnutrition in 2017. Drought conditions are expected to peak during the dry December to March jilaal season, which is likely to lead to a sharper deterioration in livestock body conditions, and impacting milk production and nutrition status of the families that depend on livestock for their food and income. During the dry season, the response will be complemented by supplementary food based on regular screenings to ensure the most vulnerable are reached. (OCHA, 17 Feb 2017)
Southern and eastern Ethiopia continue to battle the impact of the Indian Ocean Dipole-induced drought, exacerbated by disease outbreaks, large scale loss of livelihood assets and displacement. The humanitarian situation countrywide has been further compounded by below average spring rains – the third consecutive poor/failed rains in the southern drought belt. [...] In the second half of 2017, some 8.5 million people will require emergency food assistance, some 3.6 million children and pregnant and lactating mothers will require supplementary feeding, some 10.5 million people will not have regular access to safe drinking water and some 2.25 million households will require livestock support. Partners also estimate that 376,000 children will become severely acutely malnourished until the end of 2017. (Gov't of Ethiopia, OCHA, 08 Aug 2017)
Since the revision of the Humanitarian Requirements Document (HRD) in August 2017, the humanitarian context in Ethiopia has continued to evolve which has led the Government and humanitarian partners to further adjust the HRD requirements. In the food sector the needs have been revised slightly upwards to accommodate an increase in the number of beneficiaries through the inclusion of 4 million former Productive Safety Net Programme (PSNP) clients in the HRD. In other sectors such as health and nutrition, needs have also continued to increase mainly due to the deteriorating nutrition situation in Somali region, increase in the number of displaced people, as well as the Fall Army Worm (FAW) outbreak that continues to ravage crops throughout the country. (Gov't of Ethiopia, OCHA, 19 Oct 2017)
Due to drought and large-scale displacement in the southern and south-eastern lowland areas of Ethiopia, humanitarian needs are expected to remain significant in 2018. As of September 2017, 1.3 million people, 64 per cent of whom are children, are displaced due to conflict and drought. The majority of these people will remain displaced in 2018. (UNICEF, 4 Jan 2018)
The meher assessment findings revealed that two previous years of consecutive drought, compounded with weak rains at the end of 2017 left hundreds of thousands destitute in southern and south-eastern Ethiopia. Poor pasture regeneration and limited water source replenishment for livestock have resulted in acute humanitarian needs and will reduce traditional recovery processes among pastoralist households. Consequently, the food security situation in the lowland agro-pastoral areas is not expected to improve significantly in 2018. Overall, the good harvest in highland areas, is expected to reduce large scale needs in the northern highlands, however reduced harvest and crop loss were experienced due to erratic rainfall in some potential areas. The multi-sector humanitarian response operation established over the course of 2017 will need to be sustained in 2018. The extent of needs and the corresponding humanitarian operation will be reviewed during the belg/gu/ganna assessment in June/July. (Gov't of Ethiopia, OCHA, 09 Mar 2018)
A recent FEWS NET survey in Dollo Zone of Somali Region suggests food security and nutrition outcomes have improved significantly in areas worst affected by drought in 2016 and 2017. These improvements are largely due to improvements in seasonal performance, continued humanitarian assistance delivery, and declines in disease outbreaks. Currently, worst affected areas such as Dollo Zone and much of southeastern Somali Region are in Crisis (IPC Phase 3), with humanitarian assistance preventing a further deterioration among some populations, particularly IDPs. While the risk of a deterioration beyond Emergency (IPC Phase 4) has declined, continued humanitarian assistance is needed through at least September... The 2018 Belg (March to May) rains performed very poorly over most northern Belg-producing areas, leading harvests to be as much as 40 percent below average and delayed by one to two months. (FEWSNET, 12 Jul 2018)
Appeals & Response Plans
A new World Bank report has found that by 2050 the worsening impacts of climate change in three densely populated regions of the world could see more than 140 million people move within their countries’ borders.
With concerted action, however, including global efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions and robust development planning at the country level – this worst-case scenario could be dramatically reduced, by as much as 80 percent, or 100 million people.
2017 in brief
Climate change is already forcing millions of people from their land and homes, and putting many more at risk of displacement in the future. Supercharged storms, more intense and prolonged droughts, rising seas and other impacts of climate change all exacerbate people’s existing vulnerabilities and increase the likelihood of being forced to move.
By Sarah Lynagh, Andrew Robertson, Roop Singh
Picture this scenario: you are a development NGO worker who receives a significant flood watch for your area several days in advance of a massive storm system.
You may start coordinating with humanitarian agencies and local governments, but there is very little time to prepare for the event, and recovery supplies will probably not make it to the community for several weeks after the storm.
Now imagine a different scenario: you receive a flood watch for your area three weeks in advance of the storm.
Snapshot 9–15 September 2015
Afghanistan: The number of severely food insecure has risen to 1.5 million people, according to a new assessment. 7.3 million people are moderately food insecure. Food security among IDPs is worsening, with around 200,000 people reported to be in need of immediate assistance.
Snapshot 22–28 July 2015
Somalia: More than 10,000 people have been displaced in Lower Shabelle and Bay regions since AMISOM and Somali armed forces began their offensive. Al Shabaab has lost control of Bardhere in Gedo and Dinsoor in Bay. In accessible areas of Hudur town, Bakool, 33% GAM and 19% SAM were observed in a MUAC assessment in July – a significant deterioration since June. Very critical malnutrition rates persist in Bulo Burde, Hiraan.
Snapshot 15–21 July 2015
Iraq: More than 74,440 people have been displaced from Saqlawiyah in Falluja district since 8 July, and tens of thousands reportedly remain trapped in Falluja and Ramadi districts. There are now more than 3.1 million IDPs across 3,613 locations in Iraq; 300,000 people have been displaced from and within Anbar since military operations began in April.
Drought develops over Central America, dryness persists in East and West Africa
Africa Weather Hazards
A delayed onset of the rainy season, followed by poorly-distributed rainfall, has led to abnormal dryness across Burkina Faso, the central and northern parts of Ghana, Togo, and Benin, western and southern Niger, and northern Nigeria. The lack of rainfall over the past several weeks has delayed planting and negatively affected cropping activities over many local areas.