Large-scale food security emergency projected for 2016
In 2015, eastern Ethiopia had a severe drought. The drought contributed to low crop production for both the Belg and Meher harvests, poor livestock health, low water availability, and lack of demand for agricultural labor.
A major food security emergency is projected for the coming year. Already, some northern pastoral areas have moved into Emergency (IPC Phase 4).
The Ethiopia Humanitarian Country Team (EHCT) has early estimates that 15 million people will likely need food assistance in 2016, around half covered through the Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP) and the rest through emergency assistance. Needs are likely to be particularly high in July and August 2016 during the peak of the lean season in Meherproducing areas. In many areas of the country, lean season may start early this year.
The most food insecure areas include southern Afar and northern Somali Region, areas already in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) in October. Also, the lowlands of East and West Hararghe Zones are expected to move into Emergency (IPC Phase 4) from January to March 2015.
Other areas at risk of Emergency (IPC Phase 4) include lowlands in Arsi and West Arsi Zones in central Oromia and some areas in the northeastern highlands, including parts of Wag Himra and North Wollo Zones in Amhara. These areas are currently projected to remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) through March.