The humanitarian situation in Ethiopia is worsening. By the end of April, 7.8 million people are in need humanitarian assistance a 39% increase.
A multi-agency belg (seasonal rainfall) assessment is set to be conducted in early June 2017. The assessment will allow government and partners to capture the impact of the poor / failed spring rains on lives and livelihood. Erratic and below average amount of belg rainfall is likely to affect long-cycle and root crops in central Oromia and eastern and southern Southern Nations,
Nationalities, and Peoples (SNNPR).
Maize and sorghum production is threatened by the spread of a new pest. Presence of the fall armyworm has been reported in three regions (SNNP, Oromiya and Gambela). Over 26,000 hectares are already affected and maize crops in two million hectares are at risk. Rapid geographical spread of the infestation is raising concerns for significant crop damage.
Measles and acute watery diarrhea (AWD) pose a high risk of morbidity and mortality amongst vulnerable and malnourished children in the droughthit areas. Pregnant and breastfeeding women are also at increased risk.
HUMANITARIAN SITUATION OVERVIEW
The Belg rainfall performance has been mixed over Ethiopia. The best conditions to date are in eastern Amhara and southern Tigray where there is above-average rainfall for February and March, which led households to begin planting crops. The crops are currently at germination and vegetative stages and will be several months before they are harvested. However, in central Oromia rainfall has been erratic and largely below average since February, which is likely to negatively impact long cycle crops, such as maize, that are typically harvested during the Meher. Sorghum, which is more drought resistant, is expected to perform better. The western areas of SNNPR, which harvests crops in both the Belg and Meher seasons, registered above-normal rainfall in March but eastern and southern areas have experienced below-average rainfall and longer dry spells, particularly in Gamo Gofa and Segen zones. The Belg 2017 total planted area in SNNPR, especially in Segen, lowlands of A fall armyworm infestation, which is new to Ethiopia, is raising concerns over potential impact on food security and nutrition in the crop-dependent central, western and northern parts of Ethiopia. First reported in SNNP Region in March 2017, it has since spread to neighbouring Gambella and Oromia Regions. The fall armyworm affects crops (e.g. maize and sorghum) at all growth stages, thereby representing a significant risk to Ethiopia’s national cereal production this year. If the spread is not controlled, up to 2 million hectares of the country’s main crops may be compromised. The affected regions with the pest reported that 26,000 hectares of crops are already affected. Unless detected early and quickly controlled, a 30 percent reduction in maize production is expected.
The AWD outbreak is serious in Ethiopia. Since January 2017, a total of 31,117 cases, including 769 deaths, have been reported from six regions of Somali, Oromia, Amhara, Afar, SNNP and Tigray. A total of 91 percent of these cases and 97 percent of the deaths were reported in Somali region alone. The outbreak in Somali region has been aggravated by the internal displacement of people and their livestock as a result of the drought and the arrival of refugees and their livestock from drought-affected border towns of Somalia. In addition, as of 25 April 2017, a total 1,301 suspected measles cases were reported from across the country. Of these, 545 cases were confirmed.