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)
Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are projected to persist through at least January 2019 across large areas of Somali Region, as drought recovery continues amidst recent conflicts. In addition, ethnic conflicts in Oromia along the Somali border and between West Guji of Oromia and Gedeo of SNNPR have caused significant displacement, restricting typical access to food and income sources. As a result, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or Stressed (IPC Phase 2!) outcomes, only in the presence of humanitarian assistance, are projected to continue. (FEWSNET, 31 Aug 2018)
Appeals & Response Plans
Most read reports
- Humanitarian Funding Update November 2018 - United Nations Coordinated Appeals
- Global Humanitarian Overview 2019 [EN/AR/FR/ES/ZH]
- In southern Ethiopia, herders join forces to revive rangelands
- WHO AFRO Outbreaks and Other Emergencies, Week 49: 1 - 7 December 2018 Data as reported by 17:00; 7 December 2018
- Crop Prospects and Food Situation, No. 4, December 2018
Risk of Famine (IPC Phase 5) persists in Yemen and South Sudan
Severe outcomes likely to persist in several countries despite anticipated regional improvement
Humanitarian assistance and improved seasonal performance mitigate a deterioration in food security
• Children on the move:
Natural disasters and conflict has forced 8.5 million people to flee their homes across South Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya. Conflict is the largest driver of displacement – with children often witnessing or experiencing horrific violence, exploitation and abuse.
• Families facing starvation:
More than 12 million children go to bed hungry across South Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya everyday. Children don’t have enough to eat because of various crises – drought, conflict, flooding or hyperinflation.
Conflict and the impacts of drought continue to drive very high assistance needs in East Africa. In South Sudan, Yemen, Ethiopia, and Somalia, large-scale Emergencies persist, and households face significant gaps in meeting their basic food needs, although humanitarian assistance is preventing more extreme outcomes in many areas. Sustained, large-scale humanitarian assistance is needed to protect livelihoods and mitigate the potential for loss of life.
• Millions of people are at increased risk of famine or catastrophe in South Sudan, Somalia and Ethiopia.
FEWSnet, an international early warning system, stated that South Sudan, Somalia and Ethiopia could be looking at famine or catastrophic levels of food insecurity in various parts of their countries in the new year due to climate change, conflict and political instability.
Office of the Spokesperson
March 6, 2018
Today, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced nearly $533 million in humanitarian assistance for the people of Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan, and Nigeria, as well as countries in the Lake Chad region, where millions are facing life-threatening food insecurity and malnutrition as a result of ongoing conflict or prolonged drought. While humanitarian aid is truly life-saving, this assistance will not solve these crises, most of which are largely manmade.
• Millions of people are at increased risk of famine or catastrophe in South Sudan, Somalia and Ethiopia. FEWSnet, an international early warning system, stated that South Sudan, Somalia and Ethiopia could be looking at famine or catastrophic levels of food insecurity in various parts of their countries in the new year due to climate change, conflict and political instability.
90,000 children a week at risk of dropping out of school
90,000 children a week are at risk of dropping out of school in 2018, warns Save the Children, in an appeal for education funding in emergencies across East Africa. For many this would be their second year out of school, forced to abandon their studies because of the drought.
Conflict and drought continue to drive very high assistance needs in East Africa
The United Arab Emirates Mission to the United Nations in New York, in collaboration with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), has hosted a briefing to engage Members States in evaluating the humanitarian situation and possible responses in the Horn of Africa. The meeting featured briefings by the UN’s humanitarian heads in Ethiopia, Somalia, and South Sudan.
Extreme food insecurity to persist in East Africa, Yemen through at least mid-2018
In South Sudan, Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia, drought and conflict left almost 23 million people in urgent need of food, water and medical treatment by March 2017, when the DEC launched its appeal. While relief assistance in 2017 has been providing a life-line to people and communities in these four countries, preventing a rapid deterioration of the humanitarian crisis, persistent drought and ongoing fighting continue to affect the lives of millions. A sustained, and in places, increased relief effort is needed into 2018 to protect livelihoods and prevent loss of life.
An estimated 36.5 million people are facing crisis-level food insecurity and above (IPC Phase 3+) and need humanitarian assistance. This is a 18% increase compared to 30.9 million people one year ago. The main drivers include: repeated episodes of drought across the region; conflicts and insecurity; high staple food prices; and high refugee/IDPs movement across the region. The main areas of concern are: South Sudan; Burundi; southeastern Ethiopia; pastoral areas of Kenya, and parts of Somalia and DRC.
Sustained assistance needed in Somalia, Ethiopia where below-average Deyr rains are forecast
The Monaco Red Cross is launching an appeal for solidarity to help curb one of the widest food crises which is currently rife in Africa
Extreme levels of food insecurity persist across South Sudan as conflict continues to limit access to typical food sources and, in some areas, the delivery of humanitarian assistance. Emergency (IPC Phase 4) or Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes exist in all states, despite the start of the harvest. Some households on isolated islands along the White Nile in Leer of Unity and Ayod of Jonglei could be in Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5) in the event they are unable to move in search of assistance.
By Liz Evers
Fundraising appeal has helped Trócaire scale up its efforts in East African countries where drought situation continues to deteriorate.
For several months now, the East African countries of Somalia, South Sudan, Ethiopia and Kenya have been experiencing the devastating impacts of prolonged drought. Over 26 million people in the affected regions are now severely food insecure.
Trócaire has been engaged in a relief effort with fellow humanitarian agencies, funding partners and local organisations to support the most vulnerable and worst impacted.
Civil war, political instability, the presence of terrorist militias, drought, famine: the current situation for most countries in the Horn of Africa is a cause for concern. Because of the difficulties and despite the immense challenges, international commitment to the region has remained strong. Switzerland also has a presence on the ground: through its governmental institutions and NGOs, it is trying not only to deal with the most pressing issues but also to establish stability and lasting peace, either directly or by supporting local organizations.