Ethiopia Key Message Update: Flooding due to above-average Kiremt rainfall and increased internal displacement contributes to high needs, September 2020

Situation Report
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Key Messages

  • Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are expected to continue in northern Afar and southern and southeastern pastoral Ethiopia through at least early 2021. Some of the worst-affected areas, including pastoral lowlands of Oromia, northern and central Afar, and much of the Somali region, face the compounding impacts of multiple weather shocks and conflict-related displacement. Additionally, many poor households are not only facing high stable food prices but also lower than typical income and are having difficulty accessing food. The anticipated below-average deyr/Hagaya season, slightly below-average Meher harvest, and continued lower than average access to income across much of the country is anticipated to continue contributing to high assistance needs.

  • Between June and September 2020, the cumulative number of confirmed COVID-19 cases increased twelve-fold. Despite the significant increase, the State of Emergency expired on September 5. As a result, transportation services have restarted, and people are moving more freely, though not all people respect public regulations.

  • In September, reports from multiple sources, including the government and FAO, confirm the presence of desert locusts are in Dire Dewa, Ayasha highlands of Hararghe, bordering areas of Amhara and Afar, and bordering areas of Tigray and Afar. Swarms are also arriving from Yemen, which multiplied, traveling to eastern Amhara. According to the Regional Bureau of Agriculture, in September, desert locusts have already damaged over 150 hectares of cropland. Moreover, according to the same source, desert locusts have also been invading parts of South Wollo and Oromia Zone of Amhara.

  • Insecurity and localized conflict between ethnic groups and insurgents, mainly in areas of the Benishangul Gumuze region and Bale, and Arsi Zones of Oromia, as well as armed clashes between unidentified armed groups and the government in Guji and Wolega Zone of Oromia, have generally increased. This has led to higher levels of internal displacement. Displaced populations’ livelihoods are typically disrupted, and find themselves in new areas where they often have difficulty accessing sufficient income or food to meet their minimum needs. As a result, many of these newly displaced populations are in Crisis (IPC Phase 3).