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
Most read reports
Here we are again. Famine is back. Drought in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya, and the Disasters Emergency Committee has launched an appeal for east Africa. We are being reminded there is one last chance to stop utter devastation in South Sudan. More and more horror reveals itself as areas are taken back from Boko Haram by the Nigerian army.
Outside Africa, across the Gulf of Aden, we are seeing the little bodies of children wasting away in Yemen.
Business in the Sululta district of Ethiopia’s Oromia region is burgeoning. So why, despite abundant rainfall, does half the population have no access to fresh water?
Towards the end of the day at the Abyssinia Springs bottled water factory near Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, workers hose down the car park liberally. Outside the gates, residents of the Sululta area trudge along the road with empty yellow jerrycans that they will fill from muddy wells and water points.
Campaigners say tens of millions in urgent need in Yemen, South Sudan, Nigeria and Somalia are in hands of an overwhelmed, outdated humanitarian network
Karen McVeigh and Ben Quinn
Famine is looming in four different countries, threatening unprecedented levels of hunger and a global crisis that is already stretching the aid and humanitarian system like never before, experts and insiders warn.
Before this year’s drought, farmers’ yields were tripling in some regions. With the right investment, Ethiopia can get back on track for middle-income status
The author is the former state minister for agriculture
Ethiopia has confirmed its commitment to restore its degraded lands to improve food security and biodiversity. Now, it’s looking to the private sector for support
By Duncan Gromko
Ethiopia is in the midst of the worst drought in 50 years. Famine and malnutrition have now spread to 443 of the country’s 750 districts. Earlier this month, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), called Ethiopia’s condition “a deteriorated humanitarian situation”.
Unusually strong El Niño, coupled with record-high temperatures, has had a catastrophic effect on crops and rainfall across southern and eastern Africa
More than 36 million people face hunger across southern and eastern Africa, the United Nations has warned, as swaths of the continent grapple with the worst drought in decades at a time of record high temperatures.
Importing emergency food rations on a large scale overrides local efforts to produce food and undermines the systems needed to withstand future crises
By Tate Munro and Lorenz Wild
The current El Niño-driven drought in Ethiopia is the 15th in Kemal Umer’s lifetime. For Umer and his family, who live in the Afar region, life can be a constant struggle even in the best of times. The income they earn from raising livestock is barely enough to feed the family, and drought conditions make things worse. A single bad season could mean they won’t have enough to eat.
Limited food and dwindling livestock has become a way of life for many Ethiopians since drought struck. The government says its countermeasures are working, yet its confidence is belied by the hardship facing farmers
Simona Foltyn in Ogolcho
Aid agencies call for urgent action as failed harvests, stunted crops and soaring prices trigger widespread food shortages in Africa, the Caribbean and Asia
Aid agencies have warned that tens of millions of people in Africa, the Caribbean and Asia face severe hunger in the next six months following failed harvests, stunted crops and soaring prices of staple foods.
Read the full article on The Guardian
With rapid economic growth and a government safety net, Ethiopians are understandably angry at being associated in western minds with misery