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Eastern areas of the country becoming more acutely food insecure

  • Key Message Update
  • Ethiopia
  • September 2015
Eastern areas of the country becoming more acutely food insecure

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  • Key Messages
  • Partner
    Key Messages
    • In northeastern Amhara and Tigray, central and eastern Oromia, and the parts of Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region (SNNPR) along the Rift Valley, there is currently very little Belg harvest. The coming Meher harvest from October to December is also likely to be well below average. With high prices and little income from agricultural labor, these areas are likely to remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) until the start of the Meher harvest, and then improve slightly into Stressed (IPC Phase 2!) but only with continued humanitarian assistance between October and December.

    • Similarly, the Meher harvest is likely to be well below average in the lowlands of East and West Hararghe and some of Wag Himra Zone in Amhara. These areas will remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) from October to December. Nationally, the Meher harvest will likely fall below average as many eastern areas produce far less than usual. 

    • In most parts of Afar and Sitti (formerly Shinile) Zone in northern Somali Region, the July to September Karan/Karma rains started very late, with many areas seeing no rain until mid-August, prolonging the unusual dryness that lasted the entire previous rainy season. Cumulative rainfall is below average, and distribution has been even more erratic than normal. Forage and water are difficult to find, so livestock body conditions are poor, and productivity has declined. Unusual livestock deaths continue to be reported. With smaller herds, few sellable livestock, and almost no income other than charcoal and firewood sales, households are unable to afford adequate quantities of food. Even with current levels of humanitarian assistance, these areas are likely to remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3!) through at least December and likely until the start of the Diraac/Sugum rains in March 2016. 

    • The October to December Deyr rains are forecast to be above average, likely leading to increased pasture and water availability in southern Somali Region. As a result, livestock body conditions will improve, and livestock production and productivity are likely to increase. These will increase food and income that households receive from their livestock. With continued presence of humanitarian assistance, a large majority of households will be able to address both food and essential nonfood needs, and most of southern Somali Region will move into Minimal (IPC Phase 1!) from October to December during the rainy season.


      For more detailed analysis, see the Ethiopia Food Security Outlook Update for August 2015.


    Figure 1


    This Key Message Update provides a broad summary of FEWS NET's current and projected analysis of likely acute food insecurity outcomes in this geography. Learn more about our work here.

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