Approximately 2.2 million people in Ethiopia remained internally displaced as of late May 2019, according to the UN. Additional factors—including localized crop failures, high food prices, and ongoing impacts of drought in previous years—have contributed to a high prevalence of acute food insecurity. The Ethiopia Humanitarian Response Plan estimated that about 8.1 million people would require emergency food assistance in 2019.
• The March–May seasonal rains in southern and southeastern pastoral areas of Oromiya, Somali, and Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples (SNNP) regions exhibited a delayed onset and below-average cumulative rainfall, limiting further recovery from the 2016/2017 drought in these areas. The June–July harvests are expected to be below-average in many areas of eastern and northeastern Ethiopia, due to erratic and below-average rainfall. In addition, a lack of pasture for livestock is preventing improvement of livestock conditions and productivity. Many households in affected areas are experiencing a deterioration in food security. Although outcomes may improve somewhat with local harvests, emergency food assistance needs will remain high in much of southeastern, eastern, and northeastern Ethiopia until at least January 2020, according to analysis from the Famine Early Warning Systems Network.
• Intense intercommunal conflict in 2018 led to major population displacement, primarily in parts of Amhara, Benishangul-Gumuz, Oromiya, and SNNP regions. The UN estimates that 2.2 million people remained internally displaced as of late May 2019. Additionally, about 1.8 million people had returned near areas of origin by the end of June, many of them through the Government of Ethiopia’s return operation since early May. Destruction or loss of shelter, livestock, and other assets, as well as missed planting seasons, have limited recovery options and led to ongoing food assistance needs. Ethiopia also hosted more than 900,000 refugees and asylum-seekers as of June.
• In partnership with Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Food for the Hungry, Relief Society of Tigray, and World Vision, USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (FFP) assists food-insecure Ethiopians with long-term development interventions through the Government of Ethiopia-led Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP), with the aim to reduce chronic food insecurity. FFP activities help address the basic needs of chronically food-insecure people through regular seasonal transfers of food and cash resources, while supporting the creation of assets that generate economic benefit for the entire community.
• FFP partners with the UN World Food Program (WFP) and a CRS-led consortium to provide emergency food assistance to Ethiopians and refugees affected by climatic and other shocks, including FY 2019 funding to WFP for local and regional procurement and services that complement food security activities. FFP also provides specialized nutrition commodities for the treatment of acute malnutrition to WFP, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and the International Rescue Committee, which leads a rapid response mechanism jointly funded by USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance.