Poor performance of the June to September rains has resulted in below?normal harvests in meher?cropping areas as well as poor water availability and pasture regeneration in northern pastoral zones. This, combined with two consecutive poor belg cropping seasons (March?May), high staple food prices, poor livestock production, and reduced agricultural wages, is expected to drive elevated food insecurity over the coming six months (Figures 1 and 2). This follows high levels of food insecurity in 2009. Areas of particular concern are eastern marginal cropping areas in Tigray, Amhara, and Oromia, pastoral areas of Afar and northern and southeastern Somali region, Gambella region, and most low?lying areas of southern and central SNNPR. In most areas of the country, food insecurity during the first half of 2010 is projected to be significantly worse than during the same period in 2009 (Figures 3 and 4). However, improved food aid distribution and trade flows, along with recent rainfall, will benefit pastoral populations in southern and eastern Somali region. Food security in eastern marginal cropping areas will likely deteriorate even further between July and September 2010. Overall, humanitarian assistance needs are expected to be very high.