10.2 Million Ethiopians Need Emergency Food Assistance Jan. 10, 2016
According to Ethiopia's recently-launched humanitarian requirements document (HRD) for 2016, there are 10.2 million people in need of emergency food assistance due to drought, one of the worst in decades. The estimated amount of food needed to feed those in need is 1.5 million metric tons, at a cost of $1.1 billion. Meantime, to address the overall humanitarian needs in the country, the Ethiopian government has ramped up its efforts as have international donors, though more outside support is needed.
Ethiopia is experiencing one of the worst droughts to hit the nation in decades. While better positioned to cope with the situation than in year's past, Ethiopia requires emergency assistance given the severity of the current drought, which was exacerbated by the El Nino weather phenomenon.
According to the humanitarian requirements document (HRD) for 2016, which was published on December 11, 2015, there are 10.2 million people, roughly 10 percent of the country's population, in need of emergency food assistance. (The HRD indicates that the 10.2 million in need of emergency food aid does not include the 7.9 million individuals who are supported through the Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP)). The HRD report indicates that 1.5 million metric tons of food is required, of which 1.2 million metric tons is cereal. Post expects most of this cereal will be imported wheat. The remaining amount of food will be made up of blended food (e.g. CSB), pulses, and oil. The price tag to cover this food assistance package is estimated at $1.1 billion.
In addition to food assistance, the HRD identifies other areas requirement emergency support including, nutrition, livestock, agriculture, health, water, education, among others. The cost of these non-food needs is $212.2 million. In sum, the total HRD assistance package is projected to cost $1.4 billion, of which $1.2 billion remained unfunded at the time the HRD was released. The size of the overall level of needs, however, may increase next year as the food security situation deteriorates from the prolonged drought and intense flooding that are expected from the ongoing El Nino effect.
In responding to this crisis, the overriding priorities of the GOE and donor community are to: save lives and reduce morbidity; protect and restore livelihoods; and prepare and respond to other humanitarian shocks resulting from the current situation. The U.S. government is playing an important and active role in this shared response to this humanitarian emergency.