Ethiopia: Drought - Emergency Plan of Action Operation Update n°5 (MDRET016)

Summary of the op:

Through this operation update the Ethiopia Red Cross Society requests 3 months’ timeframe extension of the operation to allow the NS to revise the operation i.e. areas of intervention, downward revision of the operational budget as well as rationalize the regions targeted by the revision. The revision is informed by the results of the meher assessment by government, joint movement secondary data review, IFRC Donor Advisory Group (DAG) recommendations following the field visit as well as lessons learnt workshop recommendations.

The revision of the operation will also be informed by the results from the government led Meher and Dyre rains performance assessment which commenced on 18 November 2017 with the results expected in early 2018. ERCS participated in field level assessments and will also be involved in the analysis of the data and report writing.


Description of the disaster

Ethiopia has been hit by three consecutive years’ drought as a result of the El Niño phenomenon in 2015 and 2016 and the Indian Ocean Dipole in 2017. The poor performance of rainfall in both major rainy seasons (Belg March-May) and Meher June-Sept) affected the north eastern, south eastern and central parts of the country in 2015/16 leading to poor pasture and water unavailability which in turn led to food insecurity in many parts of the country.

In 2016 an estimated 10.21 million people were in need of emergency food support while 5.2 million people from southern, south eastern and north-eastern parts of Ethiopia required emergency food assistance in the beginning of 2017, as a result of the Indian Ocean Dipole. The number of people requiring food assistance has however increased with 8.52 million people requiring emergency food assistance between July and December 2017 according to a government led multi-agency assessment report. The same report also states that 2.25 million people require livestock support and 0.375 million children under five, pregnant and lactating mothers need supplementary food while 1.02 million displaced people require shelter assistance and non-food items.

The drought has also affected pastoral and agro-pastoral livelihoods due to mass animal deaths, lack of adequate pastures, water shortages and wide spread animal diseases. The most affected areas are: Southern Somali region, South Omo zone, SNNPR, the lowlands of Borena, Guji and Bale zones of Oromia. FAO estimates that more than 1.5 million livestock died in the southern and south-eastern areas between November 2016 and April 2017 translating to an economic loss of over 350 million United States dollars.

The effects of the drought have also resulted in a spread of Acute Watery Diarrhea (AWD) in the drought affected areas.

The humanitarian situation has been worsened by inter-ethnic conflicts and flooding.

The government led multi agency assessment team has deployed in all regions of the country since 18 November 2017 to assess the performance of the Meher / summer rain over crop growing areas as well as the performance of short rain Dyre/Haggeya rain over the pastoral people in the south and south-eastern lowlands of Ethiopia. This report will help to determine the humanitarian requirements of the country in 2018. According to the situation update produced by the early department of NDRMC chronic shortage of water and fodder is already observed in most parts of south eastern and southern lowlands of Ethiopia