Ethiopia Situation Report - Ferbuary 2016

Ethiopia Situation Report - Ferbuary 2016
Feb 2016

Humanitarian needs in Ethiopia have tripled since the beginning of 2015 as one of the strongest El Niño events on record has caused severe drought, leading to successive crop failures and widespread livestock deaths. The drought started in early 2015 with unfavourable belg rains (March–May) and continued with late and erratic kiremt rains (July–September), which produce 85 percent of Ethiopia’s food. Crop harvests were well below average and failed in several areas.

Food insecurity and malnutrition rates are alarming. Insufficient access to and availability of food has driven humanitarian needs to near-unprecedented levels. The current situation requires simultaneous and immediate scaling up of multisectoral lifesaving and livelihood support along with investment in resilience building efforts in the most affected and at-risk areas.

The El Niño-induced drought is not just a food crisis — above all, it is a livelihood crisis. Over 80 percent of the population depends on agriculture for their food and income – significant production losses have severely diminished households’ food security and purchasing power, forcing many to sell their remaining agricultural assets and abandon their livelihoods.

Meeting immediate needs is integral to longer-term recovery. To safeguard and build the resilience of agriculture-based livelihoods, urgent support is required to enable families to resume production and improve their ability to withstand future droughts and climate-related disasters.