A state of emergency was declared on 9 October following large-scale anti-government protests, and was extended a further four months on 30 March. The protests started in November 2015, and Ethiopian government forces have killed at least 800 demonstrators in 2016. ? ?

Consecutive, below-average rainy season yields for the Gu (from March to May) and Deyr (October to December) seasons have caused severe drought across northern, eastern, and central Ethiopia.  ? This is leading to high levels of food insecurity, particularly in Afar, in Sitti zone of Somali region, and parts of Amhara, Oromia, and SNNPR. Malnutrition has increased significantly. ? Below-average rainfall is projected for the Belg season, which will affect the drought in the southern and south-eastern parts of the country.  ?

Hosting approximately 811,500 refugees from neighbouring countries, including over 349,000 from South Sudan, the majority of Ethiopia’s refugee camps have reached full capacity. Overcrowding, malnutrition, and critical shortfalls in humanitarian aid are of concern. Most refugees have been in protracted displacement, but remain in need of assistance.

INFORM measures Ethiopia's risk of humanitarian crisis and disaster to be high, at 6.4/10. Vulnerability is of particular concern, at 6.6/10. ?

Latest Developments

07/04: 10,700 hectares of farmland have been affected by an armyworm outbreak that was detected on 10 April. ?

31/03: 24,000 households have been displaced across eight zones of the Somali regions and require urgent shelter assistance. Clashes along the Oromia/Somali region border have affected over 17,000 people in March. ?

31/03: An estimated 34,000 people were newly displaced in March across Afar, Gambella, Oromia, and Somali regions. 35% were due to conflict and 61% to drought. ?

Drought conditions are expected to persist in southern Afar, east and central Oromia, northeastern SSNPR and virtually all of Somali region until May. Crisis (IPC Phase 3) food security outcomes are anticipated in these areas from February until May?

Read more

Key figures

  • 5,600,000 food insecure people
  • 9,200,000 People lacking access to safe water
  • 811,500 Refugees in Ethiopia
  • 435,000 children suffering from SAM

Key priorities

WASH: 9.2 million in need of drinking water in Somali, SNNP, Afar, and Oromia regions as a result of the ongoing drought. 

Food: 5.6 million Ethiopians are in need of food assistance. 



Read more

Information Gaps and needs

Media access to certain areas, notably Oromia, is restricted by the Ethiopian government, resulting in information gaps. Since February 2016, martial law enforcement in Oromia has led to restricted information access.??

Lessons learned

The response to the 2011 drought proved that the strategy of relying on the Productive Safety Net System, which enables the chronically food insecure rural population to resist shocks, worked well for a scaled-up response to a particularly bad drought shock. ?

Although water trucking proved inefficient in 2011, it saved human lives and livestock. Despite repeated criticism of the extent of water trucking in parts of Ethiopia, there seem to be few alternatives once surface and underground water stores are used up. ?

In 2009, the Ethiopian government reportedly denided humanitarian access and journalists to areas affected by drought, especially in eastern, central and southern Oromia region; and the Ogaden region. It either claims there is no famine in those parts of the country or tells humanitarian organisations that the regime will not guarantee the security and safety of staff and journalists.?