BUREAU FOR DEMOCRACY, CONFLICT, AND HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE (DCHA)
OFFICE OF U.S. FOREIGN DISASTER ASSISTANCE (OFDA)
Note: The last situation report was dated September 26, 2006.
In early 2006, consecutive seasons of failed rains resulted in a humanitarian emergency across pastoralist areas of the Horn of Africa, affecting 2.8 million people in southern and southeastern Ethiopia. Unusually heavy rainfall in October and November caused widespread flooding, which affected 362,000 people in Somali Region and resulted in population displacements, loss of life and livelihoods, and increased incidence of disease. Despite these setbacks, Ethiopia entered 2007 with the anticipation of increased harvests and an improved food security situation. A November/December 2006 multi-agency assessment of the main meher rainy season, which largely determines the food security outlook for the coming year, indicated that the onset, amount, and distribution of rains were good in most regions, and forecast above average agricultural production. In February 2007, the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (GFDRE), the U.N., and humanitarian partners released the 2007 Joint Humanitarian Appeal for Ethiopia requesting emergency assistance for nearly 1.4 million people-a reduction of approximately 50 percent from the previous year. Despite improved conditions, some communities remain vulnerable due to endemic poverty, chronic malnutrition, drought conditions, flooding, and localized agricultural failure.
On December 7, 2006, U.S. Ambassador Donald Y. Yamamoto redeclared a disaster in response to ongoing humanitarian needs resulting from food insecurity. To date in FY 2007, the U.S. Government (USG) has provided nearly $160 million to support programs in health, nutrition, agriculture and food security, emergency food assistance, refugee assistance, and air operations during flooding. In FY 2006, the USG provided nearly $160 million for humanitarian programs in Ethiopia.
NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
|Emergency Food Assistance Caseload||1.4 million||February 2007 Joint Humanitarian Appeal|
|Ethiopian Government PSNP(1) Caseload||7.3 million||February 2007 Joint Humanitarian Appeal|
|Total Population in Need of Assistance||8.6 million||February 2007 Joint Humanitarian Appeal|
FY 2007 HUMANITARIAN FUNDING PROVIDED TO DATE
USAID/OFDA Assistance to Ethiopia: $2,935,073
USAID/FFP2 Assistance to Ethiopia: $149,386,700
State/PRM3 Assistance to Ethiopia: $7,208,092
Total USAID and State Humanitarian Assistance to Ethiopia: $159,529,865
Food Security and Agriculture
According to USAID/OFDA field assessments, overall food security has improved in Ethiopia as a result of concerted efforts by relief agencies in early 2006 and favorable June through September meher rains later in the year. However, emergency needs remain, approximately 85 percent of the nearly 1.4 million current emergency food beneficiaries reside in pastoral areas of Somali and Oromiya regions in southern Ethiopia, which were negatively affected by drought and floods in 2006. In addition, pockets of food insecurity persist in areas affected by flooding, crop pests and diseases, and erratic rains.
According to USAID's Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET), cereal production from Ethiopia's main meher harvest is estimated to be nearly 50 percent higher than the recent five-year average. However, cereal prices remain above average, reducing the terms of trade and negatively affecting pastoralists as well as poorer households that purchase rather than grow most food. Although good rains across the country from October to December 2006 contributed to limited recovery in Somali Region, past droughts and flooding have eroded assets and coping strategies significantly, causing persistently high levels of food insecurity.
(1) Productive Safety Net Program
(1) USAID's Office of Food for Peace
(1) U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration