• Crops have failed, over a million livestock have died and an estimated 7.2 million people wake up hungry every day in southern and south-eastern Ethiopia as the Horn of Africa grapples with the most severe drought since 1981.
• WFP is on the ground, aiming to support 3.5 million people with emergency food and nutrition assistance, school feeding programmes as well as climate change adaptation and resilience building activities.
Due to severe drought, shortages of water and pasture are devastating livelihoods, forcing families from their homes across three regions in southern and south-eastern Ethiopia. While the seasonal gu rains began erratically on 23 March, the food security situation in the drought affected areas is expected to persist after three consecutive failed rainy seasons have decimated crops and caused abnormally high livestock deaths. At least one million livestock deaths have already been reported in the Somali region alone due to lack of animal feed and water. The unusual migration of more than 40,000 households with over 1.4 million livestock has been reported in the Somali Region alone, as they search for water and green pasture. A significant portion of the livestock reportedly died along the way.
WFP is already on the ground, supporting families with a combination of emergency relief and resilience building actions to save lives in the short-term and build resilience in the long-term.
Food assistance is being delivered in the Somali Region, while malnourished children and mothers are treated with specialized nutritious foods. In addition, WFP has already supported 12,000 agro-pastoralists with seeds and fertilizers as well as trainings on small-scale, drought-resistant agricultural techniques and entrepreneurial skills to help them build a flourishing business and diversify their livelihoods.
Meanwhile in the Oromia Region and the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ Region, WFP is delivering its specialized nutritious foods to address acute malnutrition concerns and providing nutritious school meals to children whose families have been affected by the drought.