Ethiopia: Humanitarian Response Situation Report No.16 (November 2017)

Situation Report
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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 Sector Co-Chairs (Government Line Ministries and Cluster Coordinators). It covers the period from 01 to 30 November 2017.


  • Multi-agency needs assessment kicked off to identify the scope of humanitarian needs for 2018.

  • Blanket Supplementary Feeding Program (BSFP) started in critically food-insecure districts of Somali region.

  • Govenrment and humaniarian partners are assisting conflict IDPs in Oromia and Somali regions, where access and resources allow; Government efforts for peace and reconciliation also underway.

  • The Government and humanitarian and development partners have began a process to gradually shift the strategic and operational approach in addressing predictable and recurrent crisis in Ethiopia.

Situation Overview

Multi-agency needs assessment kicked off to identify humanitarian needs for 2018 The Government-led multi-agency and multi-sector national humanitarian needs assessment was launched on 18 November. In the duration of the three weeks assessment, the teams will assess the impact of the summer kiremt rains and the autumn deyr/hagaya rains on harvests in cropping areas and on water and pasture regeneration in pastoralist lowlands. Nine regions will be covered by the assessment, including Afar, Amhara, Benishangul Gumuz, Gambella, Harari, Oromia, Somali, SNNP and Tigray, as well as Dire Dawa City Council. The assessment will identify the scope of humanitarian needs for 2018.

While the 2017 October– December autumn deyr/hagya rains in south and southeastern pastoralist lowlands will give some respite to drought-affected communities in the area, the overall delayed onset, near normal to below normal rainfall being currently received and the potential early cessation, as per national and international weather forecasting systems, point to an early return to drought conditions.
Chronic shortages of water and fodder is already observed in most parts of the current drought-belt, necessitating continued multi-sector assitance.

In cropping areas, the meher harvest (summer rains harvest) are expected to be generally good. However, pocket areas that have experienced poor rains and crop loss due to pest, including Eastern Amhara, Central, Southern and South Eastern zones of Tigray and the Hararges of Oromia regions, will require relief food or cash assitance, in additon to nutritional, WaSH and health integrated support as necessary. Even with good rains in both highlands and lowlands, in chronically drought-affected areas, the popuation will require sustained support until full recovery is attained.

Pending results from the November/December humantiran needs assessment, and to facilitate early planning and resource mobilization, the Food Cluster projected that between 5 to 7 million people may be in need of emergency food assistance in 2018. The projection was based on analysis of previous years with similar rainfall patterns, and factoring transitory needs of chronically vulnerable people who suffered successive shocks. An additional 588,000 people in 10 districts/woredas of Somali region will continue to be assisted through an HRD-PSNP integrated cash pilot, during the first half of 2018. Acute Watery Diarrhoea (AWD), measles and dengue continue to be major public health concerns. Although the AWD outbreak is showing a downward trend, risk factors are still prevalent, including chronic water shortages forcing communities to use water from unprotected sources; seasonal labour migration; Holy Water Sites; and congested internal displacement sites with limited WaSH facilities. Absence or inadequate access to safe water in health posts and schools is also a challenge. AWD cases are expected to continue to appear in the coming months, while new larger scale outbreaks are expected after February 2018, following the usual epidemiological trend. The Regional Health Bureau, WHO and Medecins Sans Frontiere (MSF) are conducting alert/outbreak investigation in Liben zone of Somali region for suspected dengue outbreak and suspected meningitis cases. Suspected dengue outbreak is also reported in Dire Dawa City Council. Measles surveillance and case management are ongoing in affected areas.

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