BUREAU FOR DEMOCRACY, CONFLICT, AND HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE (DCHA)
OFFICE OF U.S. FOREIGN DISASTER ASSISTANCE (OFDA)
Note: The last situation report was dated October 1, 2008.
Consecutive seasons of failed rains, exacerbated by a rapidly growing population, rising inflation, endemic poverty, and limited government capacity, have led to chronic food insecurity and water shortages in Ethiopia. The delayed onset and poor performance of the March to May belg rains, combined with the failure of the previous two consecutive rains, have resulted in below normal harvests and diminished pasture throughout Somali, Oromiya, Afar, Tigray, Amhara, and Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples (SNNP) regions. Significant humanitarian challenges, including flooding, conflict, malnutrition, acute watery diarrhea (AWD) outbreaks, delayed food response, and locust and armyworm infestations, confront populations in many areas of the country. In Somali Region, insurgent activity and security operations have disrupted trade networks, and restrictions on the movement of people and livestock combined with the onset of drought conditions have exacerbated food insecurity.
In April 2008, the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (GFDRE), the U.N., and humanitarian partners launched an appeal for $67.7 million to assist approximately 2.2 million people. On October 14, the GFDRE revised the number of people in need of emergency assistance from 4.6 million to 6.4 million, including nearly 1.9 million in Somali Region. In addition to the 6.4 million people in need of emergency assistance countrywide, an additional 7.2 million beneficiaries currently receive food or cash assistance from the GFDRE-managed Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP).
On October 6, 2008, U.S. Chargé d'Affaires Deborah R. Malac reissued a disaster declaration in response to humanitarian conditions in Ethiopia. In FY 2008 and to date in FY 2009, the U.S. Government (USG) has provided nearly $668 million for logistics and relief commodities, health, nutrition, risk reduction, agriculture and food security, humanitarian coordination and information management, economy and market systems, and water, sanitation, and hygiene interventions targeting drought-affected populations throughout the country. The assistance includes $3.9 million for the local purchase of food assistance to support U.N. World Food Program (WFP) operations.