Food Security Outlook

Food security situation is likely to improve in southern and southeastern parts of the country

April 2013 to September 2013

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Would likely be at least one phase worse without current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

Presence countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Remote monitoring
countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.
Partners: 
WFP

Key Messages

  • March to May 2013 Gu/Genna rains in most parts of southern and southeastern pastoral areas started on time, were well distributed, and were normal to above normal in amount. The rains have helped to increase pasture, browse, and water availability. Following the fair performance of the October to December 2012 Deyr/Hageya rains, better conditions for livestock are likely to improve the food security situation. 

  • Especially dry and hot conditions from late January to early March increased water shortages and the number of people affected by acute food insecurity in Afar. The March to May Sugum rains have performed well so far, and the anticipated near normal total June to September Karan rains should improve water, pasture, and browse availability,  leading to improved food security outcomes.

  • Due to the delayed onset of Belg rains by three to four weeks and the below average total rainfall in North Shewa and Arsi zones of Oromia, eastern Amhara, and southern Tigray Regions, planted area has been reduced. Overall, Belg grain production at the national level in June is likely to be below normal. The Belg rains have increased water availability in East and West Hararghe easing distances to water and improving conditions for livestock. However, the Belg production in East and West Hararghe is still expected to be below normal due to below average planted area, caused both by the late onset of Belg rains and a shortage of seeds.

  • Following the seasonal trend, staple food prices are expected to increase from April to June . The anticipated below normal Belg production will also place further upward pressure on prices, causing to rise more or remain at their current, elevated levels that will further affect the food security situation of market-dependent households.

National Overview

Current Situation
  • February to May Belg rains provide soil moisture for around five to ten percent of Ethiopia’s annual cereal production. They also allow land preparation for the Meher crops, and higher-yielding, long-cycle maize and sorghum are planted in the Belg but harvested with Meher crops from October to January. The 2013 Belg rains started late by up to four weeks, and they have not been well distributed over the northern and western portions of the country so far. Total rainfall has been particularly low in the Belg-producing areas of Amhara and Tigray Regions.
  • March to May 2013 Gu/Genna rains started two weeks earlier than normal, and rainfall totals have been normal to above normal in most of the southern and southeastern pastoral areas. These rains have contributed to increased availability of water, browse, and pasture. The Gu rains in most parts of northern Somali Region particularly Fafan (formerly Jijiga) Zone started on time and amounts have been near average so far.
  • Following poor performance of the June to September 2012 Karma rains, and unusually high temperatures from late January to early March, poor water availability in Afar Region caused a severe deterioration in food security starting around January. The Federal Disaster Risk Management and Food Security Sector (DRMFSS) reactivated the Incident Command Post in early March to more closely follow the situation, and over 109,000 additional beneficiaries were identified who had not been considered in the multi-agency Meher/Deyr/Karma assessment in November and December 2012.
  • Staple food prices were mostly stable from February to March, but they remain at elevated levels. Teff prices are particularly high as are sorghum prices in northern Ethiopia. The overall consumer inflation rate calculated using the consumer price index (CPI) as compiled by the Central Statistical Agency (CSA) in March was 7.6 percent at an annualized rate while food price inflation was at 5.2 percent.
Assumptions

From April to September 2013, the projected food security outcomes are based on the following key assumptions:

  • The February to May Belg/Sugum/Gu/Genna rains are forecasted to continue to perform poorly in northeastern Amhara, southern Tigray, northern Afar, and northern Somali.
  • In southern and southeastern parts of the country, the Gu/Genna rains are expected to continue to be fairly well distributed with average to above average totals.
  • An on time start, with near normal amounts, fair distribution, and normally timed cessation are assumed for the June to September 2013 Kiremt/Karma/Karan rains.
  • Staple food prices are expected to continue to rise from April to June due to seasonally rising market demand and overall tight grain markets. Staple food prices should remain fairly stable at their already elevated level from July through September as, despite being a smaller than average expected Belg harvest in June, these supplies will still stabilize markets in many parts of the country.
  • The Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP), the government’s cash and food transfer programme for 6.89 million chronically food insecure people, is expected to take place as usual in the receiving areas until June 2013. In addition, emergency relief assistance for 2.4 million people identified in the February 2013 Humanitarian Requirements Document (HRD) will continue through June 2013.
Most Likely Food Security Outcomes

In the western and central surplus-producing areas of the country, households are able to meet their essential food and non-food needs from their own Meher harvest from October to January, income generated from sale of the Meher season production as well as income from sales of Meher cash crops. These areas are expected to remain at Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity with the exceptions of some pocket areas. With the reduction of Meher production in some parts of western and central parts of the country, the poor and very poor households in these areas are classified at the Stressed (IPC Phase 2) level of acute food insecurity due to their inability to afford some essential non-food expenses without atypical, unsustainable coping.

The below normal 2012 Meher production in some parts of the eastern, marginal, Meher-producing areas in Amhara and Tigray Regions, East and West Hararghe Zones in Oromia Region, and the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region (SNNPR) mean that poor and very poor households have already consumed their meager household stocks and are market-dependent. High and likely increasing staple food prices between now and July will increase pressure on the incomes of poor and very poor households,. The below normal Belg harvest in June will boost household food supplies temporarily, but quickly be exhausted. Most of the poor and very poor households in these areas will experience Crisis (IPC Phase 3) from April to June. Following the Belg harvest in June, which is expected to perform better in SNNPR than in other areas, Belg-receiving areas in SNNPR will move into Stressed (IPC Phase 2) from July to September. Other Belg-producing areas are expected to continue in Crisis (IPC Phase 3).

The expected normal March to May Gu/Sugum rains in most parts of the pastoral areas except northeastern parts of Afar, parts of northern Somali, and few southern pastoral areas will enable pasture, browse, and water availability to increase. Improved availability of pasture, browse, and water is expected to improve livestock body conditions, enhancing productivity and increasing the availability of milk. Household income is expected to seasonally increase from sales of livestock and livestock products, increasing food access through market purchases using livestock-related income. In addition, the anticipated near normal June to September Karma/Karan rains will sustain these improvements in parts of northwestern Afar and northern Somali. However, small herd sizes caused by recurrent droughts in previous years, while improving, means that households can only be able to minimally address their consumption needs with the limited number of saleable livestock. Therefore, most of the poor and very poor households in the pastoral areas of the country will experience the Stressed (IPC Phase 2) level of acute food insecurity from April to September. Households in the areas where the performance of the current Gu/Sugum rains has so far been poor are expected to remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3).

Areas of Concern

Southern and southeastern pastoral and agropastoral areas

Current Situation

In normal years Gu/Genna rains start from the end of March and extends up to mid-May. However, this year Gu/Genna rains started two weeks earlier than normal in southern Somali Region and Borena and Guji Zones in Oromia Region.  Gu/Genna have been near normal to above normal in terms of amountsexcept for some pocket areas in Dolobay, Doloado, Hargelle, Charati, and Barey Woredas in Somali Region and Biyo Haraqille, Arelle, and Hatawe Kebeles in Sewena Woreda in Bale Zone, which are reported to have received only light rains thus far. Water, pasture, and browse availability are improving in most parts of southern Somali and lowland areas of Bale, Guji, and Borena Zones in Oromia Region. People who had migrated for water and pasture are now starting to return. In agropastoral areas, land preparation, planting, and other agricultural activities are progressing. Schools that were closed during the dry season due to severe water shortages have reopened.

The heavy rains in the Bale Mountains in March and April caused the water level of the Wabishabelle (Shabelle) River to rise up to nine meters. Flooding along the river banks in Kalafo, Mustahil, and Ferfer Woredas in Shabelle (formerly Gode) Zone has affected about 42,000 people.

Water availability has improved. This improvement has caused the termination of emergency water trucking operations in Gorobaqaqsa and Gurodamole Woredas in Afder Zone, Adadle, East Imey, Gode, and Denan Woredas in Shabelle (formerly Gode) Zone, Hargele, Bare Charati, Elkari, West Imey, Filtu, Dekasuftu, Moyale, and Hudet Woredas in Liben Zone in Somali Region, and as Seweena and Raytu Woredas in Bale Zone in Oromia Region.

Maize and sorghum prices generally increased from February to March due to low supply. In Gode town, maize increased from ETB 520 per 50 kilogram (kg) sack in February  to ETB 600 in March 2013, by 15 percent. Except for relief wheat, which is commonly available in local markets, other  cereals are poorly supplied to markets in Nogob, Dollo, and parts of Jarar Zones. Slaughter sheep and goat prices have had different trends in different markets. For example, the price of a sheep or goat in Fik town in Nogob (formerly Fik) Zone declined from ETB 700 per head in January to ETB 600 Birr by March, by 14 percent, in Filtu town in Liben Zone, it  increased from ETB 700 in January to ETB 900 in March, by 29 percent.

Despite some endemic diseases such as malaria, diarrhea, and respiratory diseases that are reported in some parts of Southern Somali, no major disease outbreaks were reported. However, due to the impact of pervious dry season malnutrition prevalence is increasing in Gode Woreda in Shabelle Zone.

Although the overall situation around water, pasture, and browse has improved since mid-March, food security remains poor in some areas, mainly due to asset losses from previous droughts. High cereal prices and relatively low livestock holdings do not allow pastoralists to sell enough livestock to purchase food. Though the current rains are improving conditions for livestock and for cropping in agropastoral areas, it has not yet had an immediate impact on food access. Subsequently, southern and southeastern pastoral and agropastoral areas remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2), and in many areas, households are receiving emergency assistance. However, with water conditions having been very poor following the October to Decemeber 2012 Deyr/Hageya rains and the March to May Gu/Genna rains have not fully started, recovery has been much slower in Moyale, Dire, Miyo, and Dillo Woredas in Borena Aone, Kelafo, Mustahil, Ferfer, Bare, Dolobay, Dolo Odo, and Moyale Woredas in southern Somali Region. In these areas, poor and very poor households are still in Crisis (IPC Phase 3).

Assumptions

In addition to the general assumptions given at the national level, over the coming six months, projected food security outcomes for southern and southeastern pastoral and agropastoral areas are based on the following assumption:

  • Livestock prices expected to increase due to the anticipated increase in external demand for Ramadan in July.
Most Likely Food Security Outcomes

In most pastoral areas, increasing milk availability during the rainy season and improved body conditions, along with higher expected prices for livestock for Ramadan, will keep poor households Stressed (IPC Phase 2) through September, even with the presence of humanitarian assistance. On the other hand, poor and very poor households in woredas like Moyale, Dire, Miyo, and Dillo Woredas in Borena Zone, Kelafo, Mustahil, Ferfer, Bare, Dolobay, Doloado, and Moyale Woredas in southern Somali Region will remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) through September.

Recovery will be slower in agropastoral areas, though the current rains will allow households in agropastoral areas, particularly in Bale and Guji, to plant long-cycle crops this year. However, those crops will not be available for harvest until October or green consumption until slightly earlier. The agropastoral areas of the Bale lowlands along with agropastoral areas in Deghabur, Degamedo, Kebridehar, Shekosh, Filtu, Moyale, Doloado, Firfir, Mustahil, Kelafo, Danan, East Imy, and Gode Woredas in southern Somali Region, Arero, Bule Bora, Melka Soda, Miyo, and Teltele Woredas in Borena Zone, and Adola, Liben, and Wadera Woredas in  Guji Zone will be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) from April to June, but improve to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) from July to September period after the expected Gu/Genna crop harvest starts in July.

Major sweet potato-growing zones and dominantly Belg-producing southern woredas of SNNPR

Current Situation

The onset of the 2013 February to May Belg seasonal rains in Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region (SNNPR) was timely in most of the western parts of the region but late by about 4 weeks in the remaining Belg-producing areas. It was even later in the northern areas, particularly in Guraghe and Silte Zones. The regional, cumulative rainfall amount and distribution from January to March was near normal with the exception of the northern and southeastern lowland areas, including Guraghe, Silte, northern Hadiya, and Kambata Tambaro Zones, Derashe, Burki, Konso, and Halaba Woredas, and some areas of South Omo. In these areas, total rainfall  from January to March was 25 to 50 percent below average. In February and March, there were pronounced dry spells in these areas. On the other hand, heavy rainfall in the midland and highland areas of Sidama and Wolaita Zones in mid- to late March resulted in flooding of the Bilate River in Humbo Woreda of Wolaita and Loka Abaya Woreda in Sidama Zone. This flooding washed away around 500 houses, killed around 60 cattle and small ruminants and around 3,000 chicken, damaged vegetables on 165 hectares (ha) of land, and temporarily displaced about 2,700 people.

Land preparation and planting of Belg crops was completed at the end of March in most Belg-growing areas. Land preparation and planting for Meher crops, some of them long-cycle crops, is already underway, particularly in Guraghe and Silte Zones and Halaba Special Woreda.. Since the distribution of this year Belg rainfall was uneven in January and February, farmers were forced to limit tilling their fields to one to two times instead of the usual three, in order to plant Belg crops within the usual planting window.  Currently, coffee plants are at their normal growth stage in most parts of Sidama, Kembata Tembaro, and Wolaita Zones, following a first flowering in March.

Sweet potato production since March has been a near failure, particularly in the primary sweet potato-producing areas, including Wolaita, Kembata Tembaro, and Hadiya Zones. This is mainly due to a significant decline in area planted, a result of a shortage of sweet potatoes cuttings.  Moisture stress. For the Belg season, supplies of agricultural inputs, such as fertilizer and improved seeds, were available but very expensive for poor and very poor households. Due to the high prices of improved maize seeds, many poor households in Wolaita Zone shifted from planting maize to taro on much of their land.

Pasture and water availability has slightly improved due to the better distributed rainfall in March. Ponds and rivers are recharging. However, in the lowland areas, pasture regeneration has not yet reached a seasonally usual level as unusually high temperatures through early March led to moisture stress. Livestock body conditions are improving in the midland and highland areas, but they are not yet fully recovered in the lowlands where pasture is more difficult to find. As a result, livestock productivity in lowland areas remains low.

Staple food prices have been gently increasing from last year. The March 2013 price of maize in Sodo in Wolaita town was five percent higher than last year. Livestock prices are generally stable,  but many poor households have no livestock or only minimal holdings, so they do not sell in a typical year.

The nutrition condition is deteriorating as the main March to May lean season progresses. The number of malnourished children admitted to Therapeutic Feeding Programs (TFP), in particular, to stabilization centers (SCs) increased compared to recent months in areas including Sidama, Hadiya, Kembata Tembaro, Guraghe, Silte, Wolaita, and Segen Zones, and Halaba Special Woreda.

The combined effects of the below average cereal harvest from 2012 Belg and Meher agricultural seasons, near total failure of the March to May sweet potato harvest this year, increased staple food prices, and reduced income from poor production of coffee and ginger in 2012 have reduced food and income access of the majority of households, in particular, the poor and very poor. The reduced coffee price limited labor demand in the coffee-producing zones, Sidama and Gedio. Lowered wage rates during the October to December 2012 coffee harvest has lingering effects. To cope with reduced income and food sources, households are increasing their levels of out-migration in search of labor , which continued unusually in March and April during the peak period of agricultural activities. Sales of livestock and firewood and charcoal sales have also intensified. Some households are reportedly reducing meal frequency and the quantity of food consumed. The majority of poor and very poor households are currently in Crisis (IPC Phase 3).

Assumptions

No additional assumptions, specific to SNNPR, have been made.

Most Likely Food Security Outcomes

The western part of SNNPR where this year’s Belg rains started on time and had more rainfall  with better distribution is likely to lead to near average yields for short-cycle crops and for perennial crops, including coffee in Sidama and Gedio. The anticipated average Belg and Kiremt rainfall in the period April through September will also likely allow continued growth and development of the long-cycle Meher crops for harvest starting in October,  particularly in Guraghe, Silte, Segen, and Halaba. On the other hand, in most lowlands parts of Sidama, Kembata Tembaro, Hadiya, and Wolaita, less often than usual tillage during land preparation is likely to reduce the yields of Belg crops.  A below average Belg harvest in June is likely with the reduced tillage, late start, and erratic rainfall distribution.

The expected normal rainfall performance from April through September will likely improve pasture and water availability. As a result, the livestock productivity will improve, but the poor and very poor households have too few livestock holdings, typically limited to poultry and small ruminants, to use income from livestock sales to replace Belg crop production for selling or building households stocks. However, the expected normal June to September Kiremt rains  will provide agricultural labor opportunities associated with Meher cropping. This will allow the poor and very poor households to generate some cash income. However, expected rises in staple food prices from April to June will mean the primary source of cash income will arrive after the period of peak demand for market purchases.

Even with increasing efforts at labor migration and other coping strategies, poor households, lacking sweet potatoes from their own production and having limited sources of cash income, will be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) from April through June. However, following the Belg cereal harvest in June/July along with vegetable production, along with increasing opportunities for agricultural labor, will improve food consumption ifrom June to September. Poor and very poor household is likely to be Stressed (IPC Phase 2) from June to September.

Eastern, marginal, Meher-producing areas

Current Situation

After going through a long dry spell in February and early March, good rains both in amount and distribution have been received in parts of the eastern, marginal, Meher-producing areas of the country, particularly in East and West Hararghe Zones in Oromia Region. However, the rains have varied greatly with very poor temporal and spatial distribution. The cumulative amount of February to May Belg rains in eastern Amhara Region though is still below average. Rainfall performance has performed poorest in the highlands and midlands of eastern Amhara and Tigray. As a result, in eastern Amhara, Belg planted area is only at 31 percent of the government’s plan and well below average though planting is ongoing. In Tigray Region, the rain has been relatively better in some eastern parts of Raya Valley livelihood zone, which has facilitated teff planting. The recently planted Belg crops are generally at the emergence or vegetative stages though in many areas they have not yet germinated.  However, early planted Belg crops that were planted in January, the result of early rains in a few areas, are reportedly developing normally. The rain in mid- to late led to intensified land preparation for the long-cycle crops in Amhara Region, Tigray Region, and East and West Hararghe Zones in Oromia Region.

The rain in March was notably higher in many parts of East and West Hararghe Zones in Oromia Region. Both the amount and spatial distribution were unusually high. Farmers used the rain to plant Belg crops and do land preparation for the long-cycle crops to be planted in April and May. Despite a spike in planting in March, Belg planted area is still estimated to be only around 15 percent and 33 percent of average. in East Hararghe and West Hararghe Zones, respectively. Poor seed availability is one reason behind low planted area, though some seed interventions are underway and availability is slowly increasing. However, the planting window for Belg crops is about to close at the end of April and in early May.

In eastern Tigray and Amhara Region, pasture and water availability has improved with the late Belg rains. This has  reduced competition for pasture and water with migrated livestock from Afar, as those livestock have already returned to their usual wet season grazing areas. In East and West Hararghe Zones, livestock have returned from the river valleys. Moreover, Belg rain in East and West Hararghe zones has improved the supply of water for human consumption. Water trucking activities have been terminated in many woredas in East Hararghe Zone with the exception of Qumbi Woreda where the water shortage remains persistent but at a lower order of magnitude. However, before water shortages ended in March, reports from East Hararghe highlight increased admissions of malnourished children in February to outpatient therapeutic programs (OTP),  a  21 percent increase compared to February last year.

Widespread rain in the lowlands of East Shewa and West Arsi Zone has increased pasture and water availability. However, excessive rain during the last week of March and in early April has resulted in floods and hailstorms in some areas. Floods and hailstorms in Raya Azebo and Alaje Woredas in Tigray killed 4 people and over 900 head of livestock. Hailstorms were also reported in Babile, Chinaksen, and Malkabulo Woredas in East Hararghe. Floods in Maya, Tullo, and Meisso Woredas in West Hararghe have also killed livestock and damaged fields of crops. Flooding was also reported from Werebabu and Albuko Woredas of South Wollo Zone, which killed over 160 head of livestock and affected crops already in the field.

Both cereal and livestock prices  increased from five to 15 percent between April 2012 and April 2013. However annual price increases have been exceptionally higher in Tigray Region,  around the range of 30 to 35 percent Since January, cereal prices have tended to increase while the livestock prices were either stable or declined slightly. Market cereal supplies have been reported to be near normal in many places, but livestock supply is above normal in the areas where the October 2012 to January 2013 Meher harvest was well below normal, including South Tigray Zone and East and West Hararghe Zones in Oromia Region.

Food is being provided by ongoing PSNP and emergency distributions. One to two months worth of PSNP distributions, mostly in the form of cash, have already been distributed in most areas. However, emergency food has already been transported in many places, and in a few locations, distribution to the target communities has started. Even though a significant improvement in the amount and distribution of rain since last weeks of March has increased Belg planting, revived of chat production, and increased land preparation for long-cycle crops, these activities have not immediately improved food availability at either the household or market level. Moreover, apart from urban, casual labor,  agricultural labor opportunities remain limited. Other sources of cash income such as the sale of charcoal and firewood are not expected to be adequate to allow households to purchase sufficient quantities of food. Thus, poor households in many parts of the eastern, marginal, Meher-producing areas are in Crisis (IPC Phase 3). Some areas in central Tigray and a few areas in central Oromia are Stressed (IPC Phase 2).

Assumptions

In addition to the general assumptions given at the national level, projected food security outcomes for eastern, marginal, Meher-producing areas are based on the following assumptions:

  • Emergency assistance from the HRD is expected to arrive in these areas, primarily between April and June, and in the quantities proscribed by the HRD.
Most Likely Food Security Outcomes

Due to the late onset of the Belg rains and the resulting below average planted area for Belg crops, overall Belg crop production will likely be below average. In northern areas where the remainder of the April and May rains are expected to be below average, the yields of Belg crops will likely be reduced by moisture stress. Agricultural labor opportunities are minimal before the start of the Kiremt rains in June, and, at the same time, the prices of staple cereals are likely to further increase. Livestock body conditions and productivity are likely to improve from April to June and will enable the poor to sell small ruminants to increase their income. Some poor household will take on migratory, urban, casual labor or sell firewood of charcoal to increase their income. Most poor households will remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) even with the presence of humanitarian assistance from April to June.

While expected to be below average, the Belg harvest around July will increase food access. Also, increasing agricultural labor opportunities for weeding and cultivation of Meher crops will increase incomes around July. Despite these increases in income and own-produced food, poor households in eastern Amhara and Tigray Regions, Arsi, and East and West Hararghe Zones in Oromia will likely to remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) from July to September.  However, from April to June, humanitarian assistance was preventing further deterioration, and while assistance is likely to continue into September, from July to September humanitarian assistance is expected not to be the deciding factor in preventing further deterioration in food security. Poor households in central Tigray and parts of central Oromia will be Stressed (IPC phase 2) from April to September.

Afar and northern Somali Region

Current Situation

The onset of the March to May 2013 Sugum rain was delayed by about two weeks, and the total amount of rain has been below normal in most parts of Awsi (formerly Zone 1) and Kibleti (formerly Zone 2) and in some parts of Fanti (formerly Zone 4). Along with the high temperatures in February, pasture, browse, and water availability have not yet recovered and remain poor. Relatively better March to May Sugum rains have led to the improvement of pasture, browse, and water conditions in in most parts of Gabi (formerly Zone 3) and in some parts of Hari (formerly Zone 5) and Fanti. Some pastoralists and livestock that had migrated to Chifra, Yallo, and Gulina Woredas in Afar, Dewe Chefa, Harbu, Gubalafto, and Raya Kobo Woredas in Amhara, and Raya Alamata and Mohoni Woredas in Tigray Region are currently returning to their usual wet season grazing areas. While body conditions are improving in most areas of Gabi and in some parts of Hari and Fanti Zones, a significant reduction in milk productivity has been observed in the areas where the June to September 2012 Karma rains performed poorly, including most parts of Awsi, Kibleti, and Fanti, and a few areas in Hari Zone. Following the incredibly hot and dry conditions in February, a drought emergency situation was declared in the region.  The Afar Regional State Government requested additional emergency food resources for over 75,000  additional people. This was accepted by the federal government, and as a result, over 184,000 beneficiaries are being targeted for relief food distributions. Moreover, in order to follow the situation closely and make the necessary interventions, the federal government reactivated the Incident Command Post in Afar Region, which just completed its primary duties in mid-April.

The onset of the March to May 2013 Gu rains in northern Somali Region was mostly on time. Despite the difference in the amount and distribution, most of the woredas in northern Somali have received some rain since the second week of March. Accordingly, Mieso, Dembel, Erer, eastern Shinile, southeastern Ayisha, and northeastern Hadagale Woredas in Siti (formerly Shinile) Zone received two to three days of medium intensity to near normal rains. Similarly, Awbare, Babile, Goljano, Gursum, southern and eastern Jigjiga, Tuli, northern and eastern Kabribayah, and Harshin Woredas in Fafan (formerly Jigjiga) Zone received three to four days of medium to heavier rains. Part of Ayisha, Hadagalle, Afdem, southern Kabribayah, and pocket areas in Harshin Woreda reported medium to below normal rainfall . The rains have improved the availability of water in most Woredas, including parts of Ayisha, Hadagale, and Shinile Woredas in Siti Zone where there had been high water scarcity of following below average performance of last June to September 2012 Karan rains and the hotter than usual October to March dry season. Some water trucking has been terminated in northern Somali, but water trucking is ongoing in Ellidar, Bedu, Erebti, Kori, Yalo, and Dubti Woredas in Afar Region where water shortages persist. In Fafan Zone’s agricultural areas, sowing of  mainly long-cycle crops like sorghum is ongoing. A,gropastoralists in rainfed areas of Afar Region are still involved in land preparation. In Asayita, Afambo, Gewane, Buremudaytu, Amibara, and Awash Fentale Woredas in Afar Region agropastoralists are still planting, but some of the earlier planted crops are already in the flowering stage.

Ongoing emergency and PSNP food distributions have stabilized grain prices in Afar Region. On the other hand, prices of cereals in Fafan and Siti Zones of northern Somali Region have increased since January due to poor supply. Livestock prices have declined slightly over the dry season both in Afar and northern Somali. The poor body conditions of livestock in Afar and low external demand from northern Somali Regions likely were the key drivers of declining prices. Livestock to cereal terms of trade (ToT) in Afar Region marginally increased, due to the decline of cereal prices as a result of relief and PSNP distributions, but not due to an increase in livestock prices.

Poor and very poor households in Afar Region are able purchase food only with accelerated depletion of their livelihood assets, like selling additional small ruminants. They are currently in Crisis (IPC Phase 3).

Improved pasture and water availability caused by the relatively good performance of March to May Gu rains in most parts of the Fafan Zone in northern Somali, coupled with the relatively good performance of the June to September 2012 Karma rain has contributed to the improvement of livestock body conditions and livestock productivity. This has enabled poor and very poor households to minimally fulfill their consumption need without depleting their assets. Poor and very poor households in Fafan Zone are currently Stressed (IPC Phase 2). The consecutive poor performance of the March to May 2012 Gu rains and the June to September 2012 Karma rains coupled with thus far below normal March to May 2013 Gu rains in most parts of Siti Zone have degraded livestock body conditions and productivity as well as decreased crop production. Poor and very poor households in Siti zone are currently in Crisis (IPC Phase 3).

Assumptions

In addition to the general assumptions given at the national level,  projected food security outcomes for Afar and northern Somali are based on the following assumption:

  • Livestock prices are expected to increase, starting in June, due to the anticipated improvement in livestock body conditions and the anticipated increase in external demand for Ramadan in July, particularly in northern Somali.
Most Likely Food Security Outcomes

In most parts of Afar and in Siti Zones in northern Somali Region, March to May Sugum/Gu rains are not expected to lead to complete recovery of livestock body conditions and productivity. Low livestock holdings of poor and very poor households are also unlikely to recover during a single Sugum/Gu/Karan/Karma rainy season in these areas, as herd sizes have declined slowly, over time. Poor and very poor households in Dubti, Elidar, Asayita, and Afambo Woredas in Awsi Zone, Erebti, Konteba, Berahle, Dalul, and Afdera Woredas in Kibelti Zone in Afar Region, and parts of Siti zone in northern Somali Region remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) from April to September.

The relatively better expected performance of the March to May 2013 Sugum rains coupled with the anticipated normal June to September 2013 Karma rains are expected to improve pasture and water availability, leading to improved food security situations in most of the woredas in Afar Region except those classified in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) above. With the assumed normal performance of the remaining March to May 2013 Gu rains and the anticipated normal performance of the upcoming June to September 2013 Karan rains, poor and very poor households in Fafan Zone are expected to meet their food consumption needs through animal products as well as sales of livestock and livestock products. The anticipated increase in livestock prices due to improved livestock body conditions and an increase in external demand related Ramadan in July is expected to improve the livestock to cereals terms of trade. Poor and very poor households in Mile and Chifra Woredas in Awsi Zone, Abala and Mgale Woredas in Kibelti, most parts of Gabi, Fanti, and Hari Zones in Afar Region, and Fafan Zone in northern Somali Region will have minimally adequate food consumption from livestock products and market purchases funded by sales of livestock and livestock products. They will be classified as Stressed (IPC Phase 2) from April to September as they work to rebuild their herds from past shocks. 

About Scenario Development

To project food security outcomes, FEWS NET develops a set of assumptions about likely events, their effects, and the probable responses of various actors. FEWS NET analyzes these assumptions in the context of current conditions and local livelihoods to arrive at a most likely scenario for the coming eight months. Learn more here.

About FEWS NET

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network is a leading provider of early warning and analysis on food insecurity. Created by USAID in 1985 to help decision-makers plan for humanitarian crises, FEWS NET provides evidence-based analysis on approximately 30 countries. Implementing team members include NASA, NOAA, USDA, USGS, and CHC-UCSB, along with Chemonics International Inc. and Kimetrica. Read more about our work.

Link to United States Agency for International Development (USAID)Link to the United States Geological Survey's (USGS) FEWS NET Data PortalLink to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Link to National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Earth ObservatoryLink to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Weather Service, Climage Prediction CenterLink to the Climate Hazards Center - UC Santa BarbaraLink to KimetricaLink to Chemonics