FAO Ethiopia Drought response plan and priorities in 2017 - Revised version, August 2017

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Humanitarian needs have continued to rise in 2017, largely linked to the ongoing drought and its impact on pastoral livelihoods, in particular. As of August 2017, the overall number of people requiring emergency food assistance between August and December 2017 is 8.5 million of which 3.3 million reside in the Somali region. Some 2.7 million children and pregnant and lactating mothers will require supplementary feeding; some 9.1 million people will not have regular access to safe drinking water; and 2.25 million households will need livestock support. These people are facing severe food insecurity and are in urgent need of food and emergency livelihoods support.

New threats to food security have emerged in 2017. The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD)-induced drought in 2016/2017 in southern and southeastern pastoral areas has affected food and nutrition security in Somali Region, the lowlands of Borena, Guji and Bale Zones of Oromia Region and South Omo Zone of Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Regon (SNNPR). Crop production is at risk from floods during the 2017 kiremt main season and the emergence of the fall armyworm (FAW), which, in less than four months from its initial identification, has already affected about over 520 000 hectares of maize – almost one-quarter of the total area planted with maize.

The current food security and nutrition crisis in Ethiopia is linked to the collapse of pastoral livelihoods and a failure to invest sufficiently in local food production from the onset of the crisis. Rapid and efficient response to agricultural threats and emergencies saves lives, promotes recovery and reduces the gap between dependence on food assistance and self-reliance. In addition, it can mitigate and avert the loss of lives resulting from food security, malnutrition and loss of livelihoods. For livestock dependent communities, protecting livestock can literally mean the difference between life and death, particularly for children under five. Livestock represent not just a family’s income, but also a crucial source of nutrition for children and lactating women. With Ethiopia currently facing a major nutrition crisis, efforts to protect core breeding stock (through feed, treatment and destocking) are critical.

Building on the success of FAO’s interventions and scaled up response to El Niño-induced drought in 2016, the Organization aims to support the livelihoods of 1.1 million farming, agropastoral and pastoral households in Ethiopia during the second half of 2017.

To achieve this goal, USD 20 million is urgently required to save livestock-based livelihoods and respond to FAW outbreaks, as well as to strengthen coordination, information and analysis for food security and agriculture.

For extremely vulnerable drought affected households

supplementary feed and water for core breeding and draught stock · support fodder production and conservation · vaccination and treatment interventions · capacity building of community-based animal health workers · rehabilitation of water points · commercial and slaughter destocking

Response to FAW outbreaks

capacity building for FAW survey · rapid response in infested areas · capacity building to manage FAW in affected areas and prevent further spread where not yet detected

At national and regional levels for efficient and effective response

support to national-, regional- and zonal-level coordination structures (e.g. DRM–ATF, emergency technical working groups) · food security, livelihood, seed, crop and livestock assessments