Ethiopia: Humanitarian Response Situation Report No. 21 (February 2019)
This report has been prepared under the auspices of the Federal Disaster Risk Management Technical Working Group, co-chaired by the National Disaster Risk Management Commission (NDRMC) and OCHA with participation of cluster co-chairs (Government Line Ministries and Cluster Coordinators). It covers the period from 1 to 28 February 2019.
The rapid spread of unforseen emergency hotspots; partners’ slow speed to scale-up in areas where there was no prior humanitarian presence, particularly in East and West Wollega zones; partners’ inability to quickly divert funding from one operation to another; and localized insecurity and access constraints hampered adequate and impactful response to affected populations in 2018.
Urgent additional funding (and funding flexibility) is required to allow rapid scale up, and to prevent the interruption of ongoing life-saving assistance for IDPs, returnees and host communities in Gedeo/West Guji, Benishangul Gumuz/East West Wollega, along the Oromia/Somali regional boudary, and in Amhara, as well as to address humanitarian needs from the impacts of years of back-to-back drought.
Some NGO health and nutrition response coverage in priority locations ceased due to lack of funding. Cluster members flag the urgency of securing early funding to mitigate pipeline breaks given the lag time needed for international procurement/delivery.
Urgent additional funding and funding flexibility required to address the complex and rapidly changing humanitarian situation in the country
Had 2018 been a “normal”/conflict-induced crisis free year, the humanitarian requirement in the country would have started to decrease from mid-2018 and well into the first half of 2019, due to the overall good seasonal rains received during the year. Humanitarian needs resulting from direct drought impact – which is traditionally the main driver of humanitarian crisis in Ethiopia – have decreased. However, the spike in inter-communal violence since April 2018 drastically changed the humanitarian landscape of the country.
As a result of this new humanitarian landscape, Government and partners adapted response strategies that are better suited to complex and sudden onset conflict-induced crisis, including by establishing zonal coordination platforms and by increasing protection interventions to address the needs of the displaced, returnees and host communities. Two Emergency Operations Centers (EOCs) were set up in Gedeo and in Bule Hora at the peak of the Gedeo/West Guji displacement crisis in order to strengthen local coordination and response capacity in these areas that have no prior experience in dealing with such crisis. Learning from the Gedeo/West Guji experience, a zonal-Government-led coordination structure (as opposed to a federally-led platform) was established in Nekemte, through strengthening existing zonal coordination mechanisms to oversee the response to the East/West Wollega displacements since September 2018.
By the end of 2018, an estimated 7.8 million people received humanitarian food assistance and thousdands more received water, nutrition, protection and other life-saving assistance. Despite the huge humanitarian bill for the third year in a row, the overall resource mobilization in 2018 was commendable thanks to Government commitment and generous donor support.