Ethiopia: the worst drought in a generation

The Horn of Africa is caught in the grip of the most severe drought in decades, with more than 13 million people already affected. In addition, Russian’s war in Ukraine is adversely affecting the food situation, as the region depends highly on imports to meet its food needs.

In Ethiopia, the conflict in the Tigray region has dominated the news in the last 18 months. However, the country has not been immune to the severe drought, which has affected 8.1 million people, including about 2.5 million children.

The drought is causing water scarcity, food insecurity, a severe disruption to livelihoods. It is resulting in rising food prices, increasing malnutrition rates amongst children, and displacement of people searching for food and pastures. If not addressed, the drought may lead to famine-like conditions.

Drying or low-quality water sources also increase the risk of diseases. As these pictures from Ethiopia’s Oromia region demonstrate, the current drought is the worst seen in a generation. With a grim weather outlook for the March to May main rainy season, the region is likely heading towards the fourth consecutive seasonal failure.

EU humanitarian experts in Ethiopia visited Oromia’s Borena zone to assess the humanitarian situation of the people affected by drought in the southern part of Ethiopia. They helped provide the EU with the most recent information on needs and challenges. This year, the EU is providing €48 million in humanitarian assistance to support those affected by the drought.