Ethiopia: Humanitarian Response Situation Report No.17 (January 2018)
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 20 December 2017 to 31 January 201 . (All sector requirements will be revised based on the 2018 Humanitarian requirements document, expected to be released mid February).
Integrated multi-sector humanitarian response to be maintained through 2018 given the still fragile humanitarian situation in the south and south eastern lowlands, and indication of a possible deterioration due to climate variations.
According to the National Meteorological Agency (NMA), the 2018 spring rains in the current drought belt could potentially be erratic and could underperform. If this materializes, it will be the 4th successive year of underperforming rains in areas that have suffered climate shocks.
The 2018 humanitarian requirements – expected to be released mid-February- will lay out urgent lifesaving needs in 2018, as well as preparedness and recovery opportunities and calls for increased partnership with development partners, setting the ground for a multi-year framework.
Emergency Relief Coordinator and Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Mr. Mark Lowcock announced the release of $10 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to provide lifesaving assistance for those most in need among the violence-induced internally displaced persons (IDPs) and host communities; and to support IDP durable solutions.
2017 humanitarian operation – brief recap
Through 2017, the Government of Ethiopia and humanitarian partners have been responding to the rapidly deteriorating humanitarian context mainly due to drought and conflict. The year began with 5.6 million people requiring relief food assistance as a result of the impact of the Indian Ocean Dipole-induced drought in southern and south eastern Ethiopia. The 2017 Humanitarian Requirements Document (HRD) requested nearly US$1 billion for multi-sector response to save lives and livelihoods. By August however, the number of relief food beneficiaries spiked to 8.5 million and the requirements increased to $1.259 billion due to the underperformance of the 2017 spring (February – May) rains, making it the third consecutive poor/failed rains in the southern and south eastern lowlands. This led to massive loss of livelihood assets and increased vulnerability, displacement and disease outbreaks, particularly Acute Watery Diarrhoea (AWD). Adding another layer of complexity to an already dire humanitarian situation is the upsurge in violence along the Oromia and Somali regional borders in early September 2017. At present, there are at least 1 million persons displaced due to violence or fear of violence, often in areas experiencing ongoing drought-related humanitarian need. The conflict and subsequent population displacements have generated major humanitarian needs and protection concerns (child separation, SGBV, access to assistance, targeted violence). The drastic spike in IDPs and associated multi-sector needs; the dire nutrition situation in Somali region; harvest losses due to failed or delayed rains amongst others necessitated a further upward revision of the HRD mid-year requirement to $1.417 billion by October 2017.
With the leadership from the Government of Ethiopia and international partners support, some 8.5 million people were assisted with relief food and cash, more than 1.6 million Moderately Malnourished people (MAM) were supported with supplementary feeding and 315,222 severely malnourished children were enrolled in therapeutic feeding programs during the year (latest data available is as of end November). To prevent further deterioration of the nutritional situation in Somali region, which suffered the brunt of the drought impact, a Blanket Supplementary Feeding Program (BSFP) was introduced in late 2017 to assist 253,044 children under-5 and 122,825 pregnant and lactating women in 45 districts where high malnutrition rates were reported, at a cost of $4.35 million. Overall, key therapeutic feeding program (TFP) performance indicators remained very good and well above the international Sphere standards, while MAM performance indicators monitored from 44 second generation districts, 49 Mobile Health and Nutrition Teams (MHNTs) and 97 districts managed by NGO partners indicated recovery rates well above the Sphere standards.
The ES/NFI Cluster supported displaced households in six regions with 86,616 full emergency shelter and NFI kits, and distributed 12,815 cash grants and vouchers. The WaSH cluster reached 3.18 million people with emergency water supply response such as construction, rehabilitation and expansion of water supply schemes; 6.45 million people with WaSH NFIs, including water treatment chemicals and 3.7 million people with water trucking service during the year. Some 4.8 million people also benefited from health services. To address the AWD outbreak across six regions, the Federal Ministry of Health and partners strengthened national health systems and increased access to clean water in affected areas. Significant success was achieved in Somali region – the epicenter of the AWD oubreak – where the capacity of AWD treatment facilities was strengthened, including through the deployment of nearly 700 Government health workers from around the country. The daily case reporting showed a consistent downward trend since its peak in April 2017.
Meanwhile, with only 52 per cent of the 2017 sector requirements funded, the Agriculture Cluster supported 4.1 million livestock with supplementary livestock feed for core breeding animals; animal health support; commercial and slaughter destocking to increase animal protein consumption and to increase cash availability for vulnerable households. Nutritional support to children and safe carcass disposal benefited 500,000 households distributed in Priority 1 and 2 districts. Projects to improve the capacity of animal health workers are also ongoing. Several thousands were also supported in the Education and Protection sectors.
In addition to the 8.5 million relief food beneficiaries, the humanitarian operation in the second half of 2017 provided continued assistance to 4 million ‘public works clients’ of the Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP), that typically only provides transfers during the first half of the year to those determined to be ‘chronically food insecure’.