Ethiopia

Annex: Update to the 2020 Ethiopia Humanitarian Response Plan (May 2020)

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*This Annex presents revisions due to the recent changes to the humanitarian context, and should be read as part of the 2020 HRP. Only the Needs and Risk Analysis and the Cluster Plans of the annual HRP have been updated.

Updated Needs Analysis

Since the release of the 2020 Humanitarian Needs Overview (HNO), there have been some changes to the humanitarian situation in Ethiopia. In this chapter we will analyze the changes in humanitarian needs based on events that have already occurred, most notably the impact of the desert locust infestation and changes to the IDP and returnee landscape, and conduct a risk analysis to project the anticipated needs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Impact of the desert locust infestation

Since January 2020, 180 woredas in seven regions have been impacted by the desert locust infestation. While desert locusts are mainly in the east and south of Ethiopia, changing weather conditions have caused swarms to move westwards from Somali region towards Oromia and SNNP regions. There are also reports of new swarms in the southern and western parts of the country, which could contribute to reduced crop harvest in 2020.

A joint assessment into the impact of the desert locust on household livelihoods and food security was conducted in February 2020. Assessed households reported pasture damage of 50 per cent on average and cereal losses totaled 356,286 MT affecting around 806,400 farming households, 197,163 ha of cropland and 1,350,000 ha of pasture and browse areas. The desert locust infestation has damaged different types of crops. The worst affected cereal was sorghum (113,639 ha affected), followed by maize (41,341 ha) and wheat (36,188 ha). Oromia was the worst affected region with a total cereal loss of 122,835 MT on 41,051 ha of cropland, followed by Somali region which experienced cereal crop losses of 102,613 MT on 90,076 ha of cropland.

The proportion of households reporting poor food consumption has increased, indicating heightened food and nutrition insecurity. The Food Consumption Score has deteriorated from 37 per cent in August 2019 to 41 per cent in March 2020, while the average Coping Strategies Index showed an increase from August 2019, demonstrating a more frequent use of consumption coping strategies, an indicative of the worsening food security situation. In addition, the quality of household diets has worsened as indicated by the Dietary Diversity Score which decreased from 3.45 in August 2019 to 3.07 in February 2020. Finally, the Household Economy Analysis, using LEAPLIAS projections, shows that approximately 1 million additional people will be in need of emergency food assistance as a result of the desert locust infestation. The highest number of additional people requiring food assistance is located in Somali and Oromia regions, which is consistent with the areas that experienced the highest crop losses according to the Ministry of Agriculture.

To measure the impact of the desert locust infestation on livelihoods, the proportion of households using emergency livelihood coping strategies we assessed. Results showed an overall increase in the sale of animals, reduction of expenditure on livestock and agricultural inputs a consumption of seed stocks, and increased selling of breed animals from 22 per cent in August 2019 to 49 per cent in February 2020, with households in Oromia, Somali, Amhara, and Afar regions being particularly affected. In the same regions, apart from Amhara, the Terms of Trade were negative as a result of very high cereal prices. This is a sign of lower cereal stocks against stagnant or falling livestock prices. This is of concern since 25 per cent of assessed households are dependent on markets for food, in particular pastoralist households. A month after the Meher harvest, the majority of households reported that they had limited or no cereal stocks, indicating a high vulnerability of households to food insecurity. Moreover, an estimated 800,000 households will need additional livelihood support, mainly located in Somali and Oromia regions.

The rapid incursion of desert locusts across many regions in Ethiopia has resulted in significant cropland losses and jeopardized the livelihoods of smallholder farmers who depend on crops. By the start of the school year in September 2020, the infestation will have likely led to a considerable drop in agricultural production, which will further exacerbate the existing food insecurity situation and malnutrition in the regions. Furthermore, WFP and the Government school-feeding programmes in some regions such as SNNP and Oromia are entirely reliant on homegrown crops, whereby food is purchased from smallholder farmers.

Although it is very difficult to specifically attribute the desert locust infestation to the deterioration of the nutrition situation, it is worth noting that the overall number of children affected by severe acute malnutrition (SAM) and who were admitted for treatment during the first quarter of the year was significantly higher than what it was during quarter one last year. As end of March 2020, nationwide SAM admissions were 13.6 per cent higher compared to quarter one 2019 and higher in almost all regions with for example 41.1 per cent increase in Tigray, 23.1 per cent in Amhara, 18.2 per cent in Afar, and 15.6 per cent in Oromia region (Figure 1). Further increases are anticipated as the food security situation continues to deteriorate.

IDP and returnee situation

Since the release of the 2020 HNO, there have been changes in the IDP and returnee situation throughout the country. Between December 2019 and January 2020, persons were newly displaced in all regions

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