Despite the benefit of recent Belg rains and anticipated above average rainfall in many regions the coming months, recovery of livelihoods will not be spontaneous, nor can it be expected without concerted assistance. Belg rainfall did not cover all regions equally, and although rainfall in southern pastoral areas was forecast to be near average for the Deyir (Oct-Dec), rainfall is below average to date. Below-average rainfall in eastern Oromia, southern Tigray, eastern Amhara and northern SNNPR has led to reduced production prospects.
To improve household food security and nutrition outcomes, the agriculture sector highlights the need to continue assistance for core-breeding and milking livestock; including resilience and key sustainable livelihood activities, supplementary animal feed/fodder production and densification, animal health services and crop interventions. The 2018 planting window has already passed, but prevention and mitigation activities for the next planting season would help to avoid long-term dependency on humanitarian assistance.
Conflict among communities in Somali, Oromia, SNNPR and Benishangul Gumuz, has led to an alarming number of IDPs. Predictions of a weak El Nino in 2019 indicate above average rainfall in central Ethiopia, causing concerns that flooding may destroy pasture and crops, and kill livestock – with potentially serious humanitarian impacts. A comprehensive, multi-sectoral livelihood approach is required to tackle the needs of drought, flood and conflict displaced communities.