UNICEF Ethiopia Humanitarian Situation Report #3 – Reporting Period: March 2019

Report
from UN Children's Fund
Published on 31 Mar 2019

Highlights

  • The 2019 Ethiopia Humanitarian Needs Overview has identified 8.86 million people in need of humanitarian assistance with 4.66 million being children under 18. Of the 8.86 million people, 8.13 need food assistance and 5.91 need nutrition assistance in 2019.

  • With UNICEF’s support, 24,538 children with Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) were admitted for community-based therapeutic care treatment in stabilisation centres and Outpatient Therapeutic Programmes in January 2019.

  • The humanitarian response in the Tuligulled woreda, in the Fafaan Zone of the Somali region will resume after two months of restrictions due to insecurity.

  • There remains a 65 per cent funding gap for this year’s UNICEF Humanitarian Action for Children.

Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs

The Ethiopia Humanitarian Needs Overview (HNO) and Ethiopia Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP), which were developed by the United Nations Office for Humanitarian Coordination (UNOCHA) in collaboration with the National Disaster Risk Management Commission (NDRMC), were officially launched on 7 March 2019. Due to the increasing number of conflict induced Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and adverse effects of consecutive years of severe drought in parts of the country,

8.86 million people were identified as people in need for humanitarian and protection assistance in 2019. Of which, 4.67 are children under 18 and 1.3 are children under five. The relief food requirement continues to be significant with 8.13 million people requiring food assistance and 5.91 million people in need of nutrition assistance. Conflict related displacement significantly affected people’s lives through disrupting their access to livelihoods and education plus exposing them to protection risks. Currently, according to the HNO, there are 3.19 million IDPs in Ethiopia. The Oromia and Somali regions host the largest caseloads of those most in need. The lack of access to safe water and sanitation, coupled with poor hygiene practices, continues to pose disease outbreak risks in parts of the country. There are 3.51 million people in need of assistance in areas affected by disease outbreaks.

The 2019 HRP targets 8.3 million people in need of humanitarian assistance and is appealing for US$1.314 billion. The Plan aims to provide life-saving multi-sector assistance, protection services, as well as livelihoods and basic service support to a wide range of people in need, including through durable solutions for IDPs and returnees. UNICEF will support the humanitarian response through its Humanitarian Action for Children (HAC) which targets 3.7 million people 1 with an integrated response to displacement triggered by conflict and seasonal climatic shocks. This includes preventing disease outbreaks, addressing malnutrition and ensuring the centrality of protection in all programme interventions. UNICEF is appealing for US$ 124.1 million in support of its HAC targets.

According to the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWSNET), the amount and distribution of Belg rains were below average, leading to late and below average land preparation and planting of short-maturing Belg and long cycle Meher crops.

By mid-March 2019, 6 per cent and 46 per cent of Belg season planting was completed in the SNNP and Amhara regions respectively. Additionally, concerns are growing over the March to May 2019 Gu/Gana/Sugum rains in southern, southeastern and eastern pastoral areas that have either not started or have been erratically distributed, leading to largely belowaverage seasonal totals so far. Furthermore, prices of staple crops increased significantly due to early withdrawal of the 2018 Meher rains, trade flow restriction due insecurity, inflation of the Ethiopian Birr and the inadequate performance of the latest Belg season. As a result, most of these households will remain in crisis (IPC Phase 32 ) between March and September 2019. The Belg assessment to be conducted in June 2019 will inform the hot spot classification of households after September 2019.

There were no reported cases of Acute Watery Diarrhoea (AWD) in March 2019. Overall, reports of AWD cases in Ethiopia in 2019 show a significant decline when compared with the same period in 2018. However, poor sanitation practices continue to negatively impact on the health of IDPs and returnees, especially in areas where the infrastructure and sanitation facilities are weak or non-existent. Lack of access to safe water for drinking and cooking is also a concern.

Strengthened AWD preparedness around hotspots where there were outbreaks in the past three years, especially mass gathering areas such as holy water sites and areas of migrant workers, are being prioritized for ongoing C4D interventions.

The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), in collaboration with the Administration for Refugees and Returnees Affairs (ARRA), International Organization for Migration (IOM) and other partners, relocated 77 South Sudanese refugees from Gambella to Gure-Shembola camp in the Benishangul-Gumuz Region on 28 March 2019. The relocation followed extensive discussions and registration of those who were willing to relocate to the camp established in May 2017 to accommodate additional new arrivals from South Sudan and ease the pressure on the Gambella Regional State. UNHCR is also working on comprehensive biometric data registration throughout the country. During the period 16-31 March 2019, an additional 38,826 individuals completed the registration process, bringing the overall total number to 385,297 persons.

The updated population figures are planned to be released by June 2019.
According to UNOCHA, the Dilla Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) now has a permanent representative from the National Disaster Risk Management Commission (NDRMC) to strengthen the coordination of the humanitarian response efforts in the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ (SNNP) region. This coordination structure will follow the cluster approach through which responses are driven by joint planning and based on prioritized needs agreed by clusters. The EOC was first established in May 2018.