A negative Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) resulted in below average rainfall over East Africa and led to drought situations in Somali, Oromia and SNNP regions. The humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate and more than 4.2 million people in these regions are targeted to receive food aid in 2017 (out of a total of 5.6 million people estimated to require food assistance in Ethiopia in 2017). These people are also in critical need of emergency water, health and nutrition services.
The Ministry of Health, with support from health partners and UNICEF, has started a regular national measles vaccination targeting 22.9 million children.
The Government of Ethiopia, with support from WASH partners, including UNICEF, is providing water rations to an estimated 839,500 people in Afar, Oromia, SNNP, Somali and Tigray regions.
Child protection and education sectors remain largely underfunded, with no funds received for 2017 in either programme. Both programmes play a critical role in protecting emergency affected children and addressing children’s psychosocial needs.
SITUATION IN NUMBERS
5.6 million people* require relief food assistance in 2017
303,000 children* are expected to require treatment for SAM in 2017
9.2 million people* require access to safe drinking water and sanitation services
2 million school-aged children* require emergency school feeding and learning materials assistance
There are 801,079 refugees in Ethiopia (UNHCR, January 2017)
Situation Overview and Humanitarian Needs
The humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate in Somali, Oromia plus parts of SNNP regions. According to the 2017 Humanitarian Requirements Document (HRD), 5.6 million people require relief food aid in Ethiopia, including more than 4.2 million people in the Horn of Africa (HoA) drought affected regions. However, as the drought situation is worsening, an increase in people requiring food aid is expected. Water shortage and depletion of pasture have resulted in the displacement of mainly pastoralist populations to neighbouring woredas and regions as well as the deaths of a large number of livestock. In addition, the displacement of families has further disrupted already limited education opportunities for children and significantly increased the risk for children’s separation from families, abuse and exploitation. In Afar, failure of seasonal rains in December 2016 has resulted in critical water shortage.
In early February 2017, UNICEF has undertaken an assessment of the impact of the drought in the most affected zones of SNNP region (Gamo Gofa, Segen and South Omo). The assessment findings indicate that water, food and livestock feed are the most pressing needs in the affected areas.
The renewed influx of Somali and South Sudanese refugees into Somali and SNNP regions, respectively, has further stressed the already dire situation in these regions. In SNNP, a total of 4,800 families seeking asylum have fled South Sudan due to food insecurity and conflict and have reportedly settled in Ngangatom woreda of South Omo zone in January 2017. In Somali region, 4,106 asylum seekers from Somalia have arrived in Ethiopia between 1 January and 28 February 2017, fleeing from a conflict exacerbated by food insecurity.