Somali region is disproportionately affected by the current acute watery diarrhea (AWD) outbreak, accounting for about 91 per cent of the cases reported in Ethiopia since the beginning of the year.
UNICEF support has enabled 794,150 people to access safe water. This includes 149,150 people in Oromia, Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples (SNNP) and Tigray regions, reached during the reporting period, through construction of new water supply schemes, rehabilitation of non-functional water systems and expansion works.
With UNICEF and partners’ support, 81,681 severe acute malnourished (SAM) children are receiving life-saving treatment. SAM admissions have increased by eight per cent from February to March, the most recently compiled data from partners.
To respond to the ongoing scabies outbreak, UNICEF provided 166,768 tubes of permethrin to SNNP and Tigray regional health bureaus to benefit 166,768 people.
Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs
According to the National Meteorological Agency, most parts of the western part of the country received normal to above normal rains in April 2017. Below normal rains were received in the eastern part of Tigray, most parts of Afar, eastern part of Amhara, southern, central and eastern Oromia, eastern part of SNNP and most parts of Somali regions. The below average rainfall since the February start of seasonal rains has negatively affected agricultural activities in Belg producing areas and livelihoods in pastoral areas. However, the May rainfall has improved to near normal, increasing pasture and water availability. In Somali region, Gu rains started late, by at least one month, in most parts of the region. In April, while below normal to normal rains were received in most areas of the region, May rains have only covered parts of the zones and drought conditions are reportedly continuing. At the beginning of the month, Shebelle Zone, for instance, remained without rain. As a result, the cumulative Gu seasonal rainfall is expected to be below average.
The Early Warning and Response Analysis Bulletin (April 2017) from the National Disaster Risk Management Commission (NDRMC), reports that there will be heavy rainfall in some areas of Afar, Amhara, Oromia, SNNP, Somali and Tigray regions with the possibility of flash floods. In Somali region, flash floods have already been reported as in Korahe Zone (Kebridahar and Dobowayn woredas) – rains brought the local seasonal dry river to overflow. In Shabelle Zone (Mustahil, Kalafo and East-Imey woredas), as a result of run-off from the Oromia highlands plus some localized showers, 5,183 households were displaced and 34 schools were affected in Kalafo, 5,100 households were affected in Mustahil, 111 households were affected in East-Imey. Flash floods also affected Nogob and Dawa zones, although damage is to date unknown.
The upcoming Belg/Gu humanitarian needs assessment started on 22 May 2017 in pastoral areas and, in early June, in cropping areas. A total of 19 teams will be deployed in Afar, Amhara, Oromia, SNNP, Somali and Tigray regions.
Findings from this multi-sectoral assessment will inform the revision of the Humanitarian Requirement Document (HRD) up to the end of the year. It is expected that the number of food aid beneficiaries will increase by at least 2 million people from the 5.6 million people at the beginning of the year. UNICEF is providing technical and logistics assistance to the assessment.
Ethiopia continues its ‘open door’ policy to refugees. As of 30 April, 2017, there are 843,171 refugees in Ethiopia, of which 49,231 arrived in 2017.1 The majority of the refugees are South Sudanese (375,755), followed by Somali (248,943), Eritrean (169,655) and Sudanese (41,298). With renewed fighting and food insecurity in South Sudan,
South Sudanese refugees continue to arrive, accounting for 33,547 of the 49,231 refugees who arrived in 2017. As Nguenyyiel refugee camp (opened in October 2016) in Gambella region is at its full capacity with some 60,000 refugees, a new camp, Gure Shembola, has opened in Benishangul Gumuz region to accommodate the increasing number of refugees. Humanitarian partners, including UNICEF, are preparing to support the expected new influx of South Sudanese refugees into Ethiopia through Gambella region.