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 843,000 refugees from neighbouring countries, including approximately 375,000 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

No significant updates: 23/06. Last updated: 14/06

The United Nations meteorological organization said there is a 50 to 60% chance that the Pacific will experience further strong warming this year, which will impact the highlands of Ethiopia. ?

Emergency (IPC Phase 4) food security coniditons are expected in southeastern Somali region due to worsening drought, uncertain aid delivery, and atypical livestock loss. ?

Key figures

  • 7,700,000 food insecure people  [?]
  • 9,200,000 People lacking access to safe water  [?]
  • 843,000 Refugees in Ethiopia  [?]
  • 440,000 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: 7.7 million Ethiopians need food assistance, up from 5.6 million stated in January. The increase is largely due to the spread of drought in Oromia, Amhara, and SNNP regions, and a lower than expected Meher season production.



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.?