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
- Global Humanitarian Overview 2019 [EN/AR/FR/ES/ZH]
- Humanitarian Funding Update November 2018 - United Nations Coordinated Appeals
- In southern Ethiopia, herders join forces to revive rangelands
- Ethiopia Humanitarian Bulletin Issue 68 | 11 - 25 November 2018
- UNHCR Ethiopia - Operational Update (October and November 2018)
In Eastern Africa, staple commodity prices generally followed seasonal trends in Uganda, Kenya, and Somalia, but atypical price trends were observed in Sudan, South Sudan, Ethiopia, and Tanzania (FEWS NET Price Watch, March 2018). Prices are expected to follow seasonal trends through June 2018, remaining below last year and five year USD prices due to a combination of currency depreciation, better production than 2017, and regional imports.
- White maize grain was as usual, the most regionally traded commodity between October and December 2017 because of increasing supply from the previous June-to-July, and ongoing November-to-January harvests (see Figure 1). Recurrent conflict-related trade disruptions from southern to northern markets in South Sudan encouraged alternative imports from Sudan in the north.
Maize grain as usual was the most traded commodity in the region followed by dry beans, rice and then sorghum. See Figure 1.
Staple commodity prices especially for maize are expected to remain above last year and five year average prices despite near average harvest in the region with spatial pockets of deficit within and between countries because carryover stocks are low, tightening supplies available for trade.
- Tanzania’s ban on maize grain exports to assure the country’s food security and to encourage value addition through exports of flour, would likely move regional cross-border trade to informal channels because of porous borders, and increase the maize export prices because of additional of costs of circumventing the ban.
Maize grain was the most informally traded commodity in Eastern Africa in the first quarter of 2017 accounting for 33 percent of total trade, but volumes traded in the region were lower when compared to 2013-2016 average due to tight supplies following below average harvests across most countries.
Maize grain was the most informally traded commodity in Eastern Africa in the fourth quarter of 2016 but its share of total trade decreased slightly from 35 percent in the third quarter to 31 percent in the fourth quarter because of average production and supplies in Kenya, Tanzania,
Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi.
• The June 2016 FSNWG update indicates that approximately 28 million people in the Horn of Africa region are severely food insecure (IPC Phase 3 Crisis and Phase 4 Emergency) in selected countries and are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance. The majority of them are in Ethiopia (10.2), South Sudan (4.8), DRC (4.5) and Sudan (4.4). Key areas of concern remain the northeastern parts of Ethiopia previously hit by drought, parts of Sudan, northern Somalia,
Djibouti, and Karamoja in Uganda.
Maize grain remained the most traded commodity in Eastern Africa in the second quarter of 2016 since it is consumed by a large percentage of the population. However, the quality of maize available in the region is of poor quality resulting in significant rejection rates by millers.
Locally produced rice mostly from Tanzania was the second major crop traded in the region but is still grappling with issues of origin since some of it is mixed with Asian attracting the full East Africa common external tariff.
About This Report
• El Nino related rains has improved food and nutrition security in many parts of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, southern Ethiopia and south and central Somalia during the last season (Oct-Dec 2015).
Maize grain, was the single most traded commodity in the East Africa region in 2015 as depicted in Figure 1. There were also significant informal cross-border trade of dry beans, cooking bananas, locally produced rice, sorghum, sesame; imported sugar, wheat and flour.
Most of the primary staple food commodities were informally traded while a majority of the processed food commodities were formally traded in the region in 2015.
The August 2015 FSNWG update reports indicate that approximately 19.2 million people in the Greater Horn of Africa are facing crisis and emergency food insecurity and are in urgent need of assistance.
Current Conditions: Regional Highlight
• Minimal food insecurity (IPC Phase 1) in parts of Sudan, western & central Ethiopia, agricultural areas of Uganda, western Kenya, southwest South Sudan, northern Somalia, Rwanda and Burundi but stressed (IPC Phase 2) in most pastoral areas;
• Crisis and emergency food insecurity remains a concern mostly in DRC, CAR and conflict-affected states of South Sudan, parts of NE Kenya, NE Ethiopia, some districts in Karamoja, Darfur in Sudan, IDP sites in Somalia;