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
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- The Emerging Crisis: Is Famine Returning as a Major Driver of Migration?
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- UNICEF Ethiopia Humanitarian Situation Report #10 – Reporting Period: October 2018
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Surrounded by a region in conflict, Ethiopia is Africa's second largest refugee hosting country, after Uganda. In addition, conflict, drought and flooding causes displacement inside the country. How are these refugees welcomed?
In January 2018, Ethiopia hosts close to 900,000 refugees, and the number is growing. They are mainly from neighbouring South Sudan, Eritrea, Sudan and Somalia. More than 1.5 million people in Ethiopia are internally displaced.
By Mohamed Digale
In drought-ridden Ethiopia, new water stations are giving families clean water to drink and cook with.
As the sun rises over Ethiopia’s dry Bike district, the village of Dhankarore is already busy. By the time the water station opens at half past six, a long line of women and children have queued up, juggling a multitude of water jars and cans to purchase their share of clean water. The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) has built two water points in the village, which sell clean water at 0.50 Ethiopian Birr – around two cents in USD – for 20 litres.
The humanitarian crisis has worsened in drought-stricken Ethiopia, with almost three million additional people in need of humanitarian aid this year.
8.5 million people are in dire need in Ethiopia due to worsening drought and a deteriorating food security situation, up from 5.6 million in January, according to the United Nations. Despite this, the international aid appeal for the country is only one quarter funded, nine months into the year.
Humanitarian actors are readjusting their assessments as malnutrition and disease spread in Ethiopia.
The Ethiopian government and its humanitarian partners recently adjusted the number of citizens who need food aid from a projected 5.6 million at the start of the year, to an actual 8.5 million people. Severe weather patterns have had a spiralling effect on Ethiopians throughout the nation, forcing them to relocate to survive.
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ETHIOPIA/Somali region: Local women defy drought and come together to start their own business, boosting the local community and enhancing economic independence.
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Fatuma Kahin (40), a senior member of the Hila’a association and the overall operations and accounts manager of the grinding mill, is thrilled to see how the project unites the people in her community.
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Mefti Mekonnen|Published 30. Jan 2017
Ethiopia: Conflict and drought has forced 6,000 families to flee their homes in the Oromia and Somali regions.
“Now, at the age of 84, I have to learn how to live in a small traditional hut,” says Ibado Samatar.
She used to be a farmer. When her family was attacked by bandits and her farm was razed to the ground, Ibado had no choice but to leave. Before that, she had never left her home town of Mechare, in the western part of Oromia region.
“The drought in Ethiopia is not a one-off event,” says Abdifateh Ahmed Ismael. He is the President’s advisor with humanitarian affaires in the Somali region. “The world must understand that the drought affecting Ethiopia is a climate crisis that will haunt people for generations,” he warns.
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Ever since Abdi was born, 43 years ago, the wet and dry seasons, locally named Gu and Jilal, used to follow one another in a predictable manner. But, over the past five years, Abdi has only witnessed Jilal. The Gu has completely disappeared.
Dire Dawa: The recent flash floods are worsening the situation for many drought-affected communities in Ethiopia. “The rain has led to livestock deaths that in their weakened state are more susceptible to illnesses. For many this was the last hope they had,” said Mohamed Hassan, Head of Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) operations in the Jigjiga region in Ethiopia.
The El Niño climactic event is contributing to one of the worst droughts in 30 years in the Horn of Africa. 10.2 million Ethiopians are in desperate need of humanitarian food assistance. “It is a disaster in the making. The longer it takes for humanitarian assistance to reach people in need, the larger becomes the impact of the drought”, said Geir Olav Lisle, Deputy Secretary General at the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC).