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Most pastoral areas to remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2!) even with humanitarian assistance

  • Food Security Outlook
  • Ethiopia
  • July - December 2014
Most pastoral areas to remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2!) even with humanitarian assistance

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  • Key Messages
  • National Overview
  • Events That Might Change the Outlook
  • Partner
    WFP
    Key Messages
    • Poor households in the highlands of Arsi Zone in central Oromia have moved into Crisis (IPC Phase 3) having lost Belg crops typically harvested in June/July and a large number of livestock. Their food security is unlikely to improve until the Meher harvest in October.

    • In southern and southeastern pastoral areas, poor households in most areas are Stressed (IPC Phase 2!) but only with the presence of humanitarian assistance. This is due to low livestock prices due to poor body conditions. However, with improved livestock body conditions and productivity anticipated with the start of the likely above-average October to December Deyr/Hageya rains, households are likely to move into Stressed (IPC Phase 2) with less dependence on assistance by late October.

    • In northern pastoral areas in Afar and northern Somali Region, households are unlikely to become more food secure between now and December. The continuation of the below-normal July to September Karma/Karan rains will bring only a minor, insignificant increase to pasture, browse, and water availability. Households will continue to depend on humanitarian assistance as a key source of food.


    National Overview
    Current Situation
    • The March to May Gu/Genna rains in southern and southeastern pastoral areas were below normal in amount, erratically distributed in space, and included long dry spells. They ceased earlier than normal. This prevented full regeneration of pasture and refilling of water points. Currently, there are water shortages for both livestock and human consumption in some areas. With less pasture and water, livestock body conditions and productivity started to decline earlier than seasonally normal. Early livestock migration also occurred in search of pasture and water. As body conditions have declined, income from livestock sales and livestock product sales has also declined. With less income and less access to milk, household food access has declined. Most of these areas, especially along the border with Kenya and South-Central Somalia are Stressed (IPC Phase 2!) but only with the presence of humanitarian assistance. Some other areas are Stressed (IPC Phase 2), but in all areas, food security is declining.
    • The March to May Sugum rains in northeastern Afar Region were well below normal. The difficulty of finding pasture and water means that livestock body conditions and productivity continue to decline. Households have very low access to milk or income from livestock sales. The area is currently in Crisis (IPC Phase 3).
    • In the highlands in Arsi Zone and the lowlands in West Arsi Zone in Oromia, the cumulative March to May Belg rains were below average, and they were unevenly distributed. The unusually dry conditions reduced crop growth to an extent that there are hardly any Belg crops to harvest. Poor pasture regeneration and refilling of water sources have led to poor livestock body conditions and productivity. A large number of livestock, primarily cattle and sheep, have died since April. With less income and no Belg crops, poor households are in Crisis (IPC Phase 3). The government and humanitarian partners have dispatched relief food for around 70,000 people in four woredas in Arsi Zone, and they have deployed water trucks.
    • Households in most western and central surplus-producing areas are able to meet their essential food and non-food needs from their own production from last year’s Meher harvest. The June to September Kiremt rains started on time and amounts have been near normal in most areas. Planting and other activities occurred at normal times. These areas are currently at Minimal (IPC Phase 1).
    • Over 184,000 refugees from South Sudan arrived in Gambella Region from December to early July. More than two-thirds of the refugees are women, children, or young people under the age of 20. Refugee  camps are located on communal grazing land or arable land sometimes used for recession agriculture after flooding. Bush clearance, cutting down trees, and hunting by refugees have depleted some natural resources. However, due to the influx of refugees, humanitarian groups have set up additional services for water, health, education, and sanitation that long-term residents are also using. In addition, some institutions are directly establishing those services for the host community. This has occurred in Leichor, Kule 2, Pegag, Akobo, and Burbeiy among others, as several water points and health facilities were created for resident communities as well as for refugees.
    • In general, supply has not significantly been altered by the Belg harvest, so staple food prices remained mostly unchanged between May and June. In June, the consumer inflation rate was 11.0 percent at an annualized rate, according to the Central Statistical Agency (CSA). Food price inflation was 6.2 percent. These figures were slightly lower than in May.
    Assumptions

    From July to December 2014, the projected food security outcomes are based on the following assumptions:

    • According to the National Meteorology Agency’s (NMA) and other regional and international forecasts, in western and southern Ethiopia, the June to September Kiremt rains are likely to be average to above average in cumulative amount. Distribution both over space and time is likely to be typical. They are likely to end at a normal time in late September.
    • Cumulative June to September Karma/Karan rains in the northern pastoral areas in Afar and northern Somali and Kiremt rains in adjoining areas of eastern Ethiopia including eastern Amhara, eastern Tigray, and eastern Oromia are expected to be below normal.
    • An average Meher harvest is expected from October to January in western and southern parts of the country. However, Meher production is expected to be below average in northeastern Amhara and Tigray Regions as well as central and eastern parts of Oromia Region.
    • Due to the developing El Niño, the October to December Deyr/Hageya rains in most southern and southeastern pastoral and agropastoral areas are likely to be above average in amount. There is an increased risk for river flooding and flash floods in flood-prone areas.
    • Staple food prices are expected to remain stable at their currently elevated levels from July to September due to seasonally rising market demand and tight grain markets. Staple food prices are likely to decline slightly from October to December due to increased market supply from the Meher harvest.

    Northern pastoral and agropastoral areas in Afar and northern Somali Region

    Current Situation

    Primarily due to the low and less-than-usual livestock productivity, many areas are in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or Stressed (IPC Phase 2!) but only due to the presence of humanitarian assistance. March to May Diraac/Sugum rains had mostly near normal cumulative amounts outside of northeastern Afar, but there were long dry spells and generally very erratic temporal distribution. This means that pasture, browse, and water have been depleted earlier than usual. In many cases, these resources did not regenerate. As a result, livestock have poor body conditions.

    Livestock Conditions: Some livestock are becoming emaciated. Milk and butter availability is declining. Areas particularly affected include Adaar, Amibara, Chifera, and Mille Woredas in Awsi Zone of Afar Region, and Ayesha, Hadigala, Shinile, and Meisso Woredas of Sitti (formerly Shinile) Zone, and Harshen Woreda of Fafan (formerly Jijiga) Zones in northern Somali Region. Livestock deaths have occurred. More than 1,400 animals died in Amibara Woreda in June, according to the regional Disaster Risk Management and Food Security Bureau’s July report.

    Crop Production: In agropastoral areas, Sugum/Diraac production has so far been below normal due to erratic distribution of the rains, a long dry spell, pest infestation, and late planting. Agropastoral areas can be found in Jijiga and Kebribeyah Woredas in Fafan (formerly Jijiga) Zone, Dembel, Erer, Meisso, and Shinile Woredas in Sitti (formerly Shinile) Zone in northern Somali Region, and in Abala, Berhale, Dalul, and Megale Woredas in Kilbati Zone (formerly Zone 2) in Afar Region.

    Markets: As households sold livestock to fund food purchases or due to the difficulty of finding pasture and water, livestock supply has continued increasing. Livestock prices declined from May to June due to increased supply. For instance, goat or sheep prices in June 2014 in Jijiga and Shinile were 25 and 35 percent below last year, respectively. In northern Somali, cereal availability and supply declined, causing price increases. From May to June, for instance, the sorghum price increased 31 percent in Jijiga. At the same time in Afar, cereal prices remained stable due to stable supply from Productive Safety Nets Program (PSNP) food distributions.

    Assumptions

    In addition to the national assumptions above, the following assumptions have been made about northern pastoral and agropastoral areas in Afar and northern Somali Region:

    • As result of deteriorating livestock body conditions, livestock prices will likely decline from September to December.
    • Due to the anticipated below-normal Karma rains, additional livestock migration from Afar to highland areas of Amhara and Tigray is likely. Similarly, migration from Sitti (formerly Shinile) Zone of Somali Region to nearby highland areas in Oromia Region and the Awash River catchment is expected. Concentration of livestock and insufficient pasture availability may result in livestock body emaciation and disease outbreaks during the long, dry October to February Jilaal season.
    Most Likely Food Security Outcomes

    In most of Afar and Fafan (formerly Jijiga) and Sitti (formerly Shinile) Zone in Somali Region, conditions are expected to deteriorate due to the expected below-average July to September Karma/Karan rainfall. Pasture, browse, and water availability are unlikely to be replenished to normal levels. Further depletion is expected starting in August, and it will worsen during the long October to February Jilaal dry season. Abnormal livestock movements, livestock concentration around available pasture and water points, livestock body emaciation, and livestock disease outbreaks are expected between September and December. Low livestock to cereal terms of trade are expected with households having limited purchasing power. Poor and very poor households in western and southern Afar Region and Fafan (formerly Jijiga) and Sitti (formerly Shinile) Zones of northern Somali Region will remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2!) but only with humanitarian assistance through at least December 2014.

    Areas of concern

    Northeastern Afar Region: Unlike most northern pastoral areas, the cumulative March to May Sugum rains were well below average in parts of Awsi (formerly Zone 1) and Kilbati (formerly Zone 2) Zones in Afar Region. Elidar, Kori, Erebti, Berhale, Abala, Dalul, and Bidu Woredas all received only a few days of rains. As there was very little regeneration of the rangelands or refilling of water points, these resources have been depleted more rapidly than usual, almost as soon as the rains were over. With declining availability of rangeland resources, livestock body conditions deteriorated significantly. The impact on livestock is particularly severe given this areas has had several consecutive rainy seasons of mostly dry conditions. Milk production is very low, with some households reporting no production and other households only having half the milk being produced that they did in the 2004-05 livelihood baseline year. Livestock have already been migrated in search of water and pasture to neighboring areas in Amhara and Tigray Regions. Additional migration has been to nearby woredas including Gulina, Yallo, Teru, and Auras Woreda of Fenti Zone (formerly Zone 4). Households are relying on labor wages and PSNP payments and distributions.

    In general, livestock have maintained their value on the market, and there has not been a precipitous drop in the livestock-to-staple-food terms of trade due to the dry conditions. For instance, in Asaita, the average goat or sheep price in June was 22 percent above last year. Maize in that market in June was 22 percent less than last year. However, due to low livestock holdings, poor and very poor households are unable to take advantage of the increase in the livestock-to-cereal terms of trade.

    With the anticipated below average July to September Karma rains, pastoral households that have migrated with their herds will likely stay where they have migrated. From August to December, they are expected to be migrated even farther in search of pasture and water. Households with saleable livestock need to sell more to purchase food. The availability of livestock products such as milk will decline even further. Although some poor and very poor households will pursue some income-generating activities such as salt mining and making traditional mats from grasses, most households will have food aid and social support as key food sources. With a below-normal Meher harvest expected from adjacent crop-producing areas, cereal supply is expected to decrease. At the same time, livestock prices are expected to decline due to deteriorating body conditions over the next several months. Lower livestock to cereal terms of trade are expected.

    Due to low access to milk and chronically poor hygiene and sanitation practices, malnutrition has increased across northeastern Afar. According to the multi-agency seasonal assessment conducted in July, 40 cases of measles, including six deaths, were reported in Elidar Woreda of Awsi Zone. Two suspected cases of acute flaccid paralysis (AFP), often a symptom of acute polio or botulism, were reported in Berhale Woreda.

    Poor households in parts of Awsi and Kilbati Zones of Afar will remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) through at least December.

    Southern and southeastern pastoral and agropastoral areas in southern Somali, southern Oromia, and South Omo Zone in Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region (SNNPR)

    Current Situation

    Gu seasonal progress: In general, the March to May Gu rains were below average in terms of accumulation with poor spatial distribution. They also ended early. However, the cumulative March to May rains were near normal in Jarar (formerly Degehabur) and some parts of Nogob (formerly Fik) Zones. The cumulative March to May Gu rains were near normal in March and mid-May in some pocket areas in Shekosh, southern and eastern Kabridahar, and northern and western Shilabo Woreda in Korahe Zone, northern and eastern Galadi, some pocket areas in Warder Woreda of Dollo (formerly Warder) Zone, West Imy, and Elkare of Afder Zone. The rains led to increased pasture and water availability in these areas. Livestock body conditions and productivity also improved. Moreover, the relatively better pasture and water availability in these areas attracted livestock migration from nearby areas like Kebribeyah and Awbare Woreda of Fafan (formerly Jijiga) Zone. Most of these livestock are still in the Jarar Valley. However, in the remaining parts of southeastern pastoral and agropastoral areas in Somali Region the cumulative Gu rains were much below normal, with poor spatial distribution. There were dry spells of between 10 and 30 days in many areas. The rains ceased up to 30 days early.

    Genna seasonal progress: March to May Genna rains in Borena and Guji Zones of southern Oromia and February to May Belg rains in southern pastoral and agropastoral areas of South Omo Zone in SNNPR started early in most areas. However, their cumulative amounts between March and May were generally below average. The rains were erratically distributed over time and space. There were long dry spells that lasted up to 20 days, and the rains ceased up to two weeks early. Due to the uneven rains, rangeland conditions did not fully recover from the dry season. The current difficulty of finding pasture and water had led livestock to be migrated from Borena Zone to different areas within the zone and some herds have crossed over to SNNPR and into Kenya. Pasture and water are scarce, and livestock have been concentrated, increasing the risk of resource conflict and livestock disease outbreaks both within the zone and in the areas of migration.

    Markets: Despite government efforts to encourage imports by waiving duties on food items destined for Jarar (formerly Degehabur) and some woredas of Nogob (formerly Fik) Zone, traders have been unable to substantially increase supply, particularly in remote areas. With still high and rising staple food prices, households’ food access has decreased. For instance, sorghum prices doubled between May and June in Degehabur town.

    Poor livestock body conditions have contributed to a significant decline in livestock prices in most markets. As milk production is low, households are using livestock sales instead of milk, butter, or ghee sales to earn income to buy food. However, this has increased livestock supply in the markets, depressing prices. From May to June goat or sheep prices declined 31, 18, 17, and 11 percent in Gode, Degehabur, Afder, and Warder, respectively.

    Health and Nutrition: A standard nutrition survey conducted in late June in Kelafo and Bare Woredas in northern Somali Region indicates a deterioration of nutrition. Compared to last year, the survey results indicated deterioration in nutritional condition from Poor to Serious in Kelafo and from Poor to Critical in Bare. Global acute malnutrition (GAM) and severe acute malnutrition (SAM) were 21.2 and 2.0 percent, respectively, in Bare.

    Most of the poor households in these areas are currently Stressed (IPC Phase 2!) but only due to the presence of humanitarian assistance.

    Assumptions

    In addition to the national assumptions described above, the following assumptions have been made about southern and southeastern pastoral and agropastoral areas in southern Somali, southern Oromia, and South Omo Zone in SNNPR:

    • Livestock prices are expected to decline in July and August following their seasonal pattern. They are expected to rise from September to November due to improvements in rangeland conditions and the expected increase in export demand.
    • Livestock migration is likely to intensify in August and September from adjacent zones to the Jarar Valley and Nogob Mountains, especially to areas adjacent to Oromia.
    Most Likely Food Security Outcomes

    Regenerated pasture and water during the April to June 2014 Gu rains are expected to last until August 2014 in Jarar (formerly Degehabur) and Nogob (formerly Fik) Zones and some northern areas in Korahe, Shebelle (formerly Gode), and Afder Zones. The October to December Deyr rains are expected to start on time in October, and these will help further improve pasture and water availability to sustain livestock body conditions and productivity in these areas. However, due to the expected large number of livestock that will concentrate these areas, resource competition is unavoidable. Livestock prices will likely decline through August, but cereal prices are expected to increase. This will lead to lower livestock-to-cereal terms of trade. No crop harvest is expected this season in agropastoral areas in either Jarar (formerly Degehabur) or Nogob (formerly Fik) Zones. Hence, poor households in these zones will only be able to address their minimal food needs and will have difficulties in addressing their non-food needs like livestock drugs. They will remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2) through at least December.

    Areas of Concern

    Afder and Liben Zones: The below-normal March to May Gu rains coupled with poor spatial distribution reduced the growth of pasture, water replenishment, and crop development. Water and pasture availability has already diminished drastically, and early migration has occurred both within these zones and to Korahe Zone and to Danan Woreda in Shebelle (formerly Gode) Zone. As distance to water and pasture increases and pasture quality deteriorates in August and September, milk yields will decline further. Less milk will result in increased malnutrition. However, pasture and water availability are expected to increase in November and December during the expected above-average Deyr rains. After the Deyr rains start in October, livestock that had been migrated out of their areas of origin are expected to be returned. Once closer to homesteads, household milk access will increase. Poor households in Afder and Liben Zones will be Stressed (IPC Phase 2!) but only due to the presence of humanitarian assistance from July to September, then will be Stressed (IPC Phase 2) from October until at least December.

    Gode Agropastoral livelihood zone in Shebelle (formerly Gode) Zone: Crop production is an important source of food for humans and fodder for livestock. However, due to dry conditions and inadequate surface run-off, planted area was low. Therefore, a much below normal cereal harvest is anticipated along the Shebelle River in August/September.

    Due to dry conditions, livestock body conditions have declined, especially for cattle and sheep, in Kelafo, Mustahil, Ferfer, and parts of Gode Woreda in Shebelle (formerly Gode) Zone. Milk is scarce, as the majority of the lactating animals near settlements and towns along the Wabe Shebelle River were using zero grazing practices and being fed fodder, which has ceased due to poor fodder availability and high costs. In June, livestock from Gode, Kelafo, and Adadle Woredas were migrated to Danan Woreda in Shebelle (formerly Gode) Zone, to Shilabo and Doboweyn Woredas in Korahe Zone, and to Sankudhuble, an area along the border with Bakool and Hiraan Regions in Somalia. Livestock were migrated from Hargelle and Bare Woredas of Afder Zone and Adadle and Berano Woredas of Shebelle (formerly Gode) Zone to areas along the Shebelle River. This has caused more competition for water and pasture in these areas.

    With paved roads being built from East Imy town to Gode and from Danan to Gode, many households in Shebelle (formerly Gode) Zone had been receiving cash income from casual labor doing road construction. However, as the project is nearing completion, labor demand and the number of labor opportunities has declined. Due to poor Belg rains in the Bale highlands, there was very little flooding in March and April, a typical period for flood-recession agriculture, so area planted was well below normal. Thus, the harvest will be below normal in July. Moreover, the below-normal amounts of and delayed start of the Gu rains, reduced rainfed area planted and retarded the development of crops. This means that rainfed Gu crop production will also be well below average.

    However, with the likely near normal Kiremt rains in August and September in Bale highlands, the second flood recession season should lead to a larger harvest. Also, likely above normal cumulative October to December Deyr rains, should lead to more crops in rainfed areas for harvesting starting in December. These rains will likely increase pasture and water availability. As rangeland conditions recover, livestock body conditions and productivity will improve. By December, milk access and income from livestock sales and livestock product sales will increase. Poor households will be Stressed (IPC Phase 2!) but only with the presence of humanitarian assistance from July to September, but as incomes improve, they will move to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) from October to December.

    Dollo (formerly Warder) and Korahe Zones: In berkad-dependent areas, there was very little March to May Gu rainfall and in some areas, it did not rain at all. Boreholes have broken, and around water sources, competition is high due to in-migrated people and livestock from Buhodle area, Galgaduud, and Mudug Regions in Somalia along with those from Afder and Shebelle (formerly Gode) zones within Somali Region. Water shortages are likely to develop in these areas. The very low Gu rains reduced crop production in agropastoral areas of Korahe Zone. In most rainfed areas, Gu crops were not planted, and floods severely damaged crops in the bed of the seasonal Fafan River. Pasture availability is low, and in-migration of livestock has caused abnormally fast depletion of pasture. Livestock have poor body conditions and declining productivity. This has lessened income from livestock sales and sales of livestock products.

    Livestock body conditions and productivity are expected to deteriorate further during the coming July to September Hagaa dry season. This will lead to a decline in milk availability and income from milk sales. Furthermore, the declining livestock productivity is expected to reduce wage rates and gifts as better-off households have less income from livestock sales. Through August, cereal prices are likely to rise while livestock prices decline. As households have smaller herds than in the past due to selling livestock at unsustainable levels to generate income, households are consuming less livestock products from their herds. The poor are still receiving some gifts from the better off, which provides some food. The October to December Deyr rains are likely to start on time, and they will improve water and pasture availability. As rangeland conditions improve, livestock body conditions and productivity will improve. This will increase access to milk, which will improve the nutritional status of children. Poor households will be in Stressed (IPC Phase 2!) but only due to the presence of humanitarian assistance from July to October, but as rangeland conditions improve, they will move into Stressed (IPC Phase 2) from November to December.             

    Borena, Guji, and South Omo Zones: Livestock migration from these areas has reduced household food and income access, as the livestock, the primary source of income and food, have been migrated away from the homestead. Despite these migrations, livestock body conditions are anticipated to further deteriorate due to depletion of water and pasture and the risks of disease and conflict associated with resource competition. Milk production is below average. Livestock-to-cereal terms of trade are low.

    From January to May, stabilization center (SC) admissions increased 83 percent. In May, they were nine percent higher than May 2013. Outpatient therapeutic program (OTP) cases and SC admissions have increased over the past several months in Dire, Gelana, Miyo, Moyale, and Yabelo Woredas in Borena Zone, and Goro Dola and Liben Woredas in Guji Zone. This is mainly due low milk availability, the failure of early maturing crops in agropastoral areas, the decline of livestock prices, and increased grain prices. This has reduced households’ ability to make food purchases. Despite some supplementary income from mining or firewood and charcoal sales, households have far less income than usual.

    From July to September, poor and very poor households will be Stressed (IPC Phase2!) but only with the availability of humanitarian assistance. However, the anticipated above-normal cumulative October to December Deyr/Hageya rains will likely lead to increased pasture and water availability. These resources will likely improve livestock body conditions and productivity. Households are expected to benefit from the anticipated prices increases for livestock and some decline in cereal prices following the Meher harvest in other parts of the country in October. Therefore, poorer households will likely move into Stressed (IPC Phase 2) from October to December as their incomes increase and they regain access to milk.

    Eastern Meher- and Belg-producing areas in eastern Tigray, Amhara, and Oromia

    Current Situation

    The July Belg harvest has improved poor and very poor households’ food access from their own production. Livestock body conditions and productivity improved due to the seasonal increase in the availability of resources. Belg harvesting labor opportunities have been available, seasonally increasing access to cash income. Thus, poor and very poor households in most of the Belg-producing areas of Amhara Region moved from Crisis (IPC Phase 3) to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) in July.

    However, not all areas received Belg rains in enough quantity to ensure mostly normal Belg crop growth. In Arsi and West Arsi Zones of central Oromia Region, the February to May Belg rains were far below average. Pasture and water availability has been poor. This resulted a large number of livestock deaths in April and May, and it reduced the cash income obtained from sale of livestock and livestock products. It also reduced milk access. Moreover, food access from Belg season own crop production is also impacted by the prevailing drought and below normal production.

    Similarly, dry conditions and the lingering effects of conflict continue to impair food access in the lowlands of East and West Hararghe Zone of eastern Oromia Region. In this area, short-cycle Belg production has been low. With the Meher harvest yet to come in October, poor households have already depleted their own stocks, and they are continuing to purchase cereals from the market. Displaced households are also still in these areas. With limited incomes from labor due to inadequate demand related to low June to September Kiremt rains, poor and very poor households remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3).

    Weather and crop conditions: Over all, cumulative March to May Belg rainfall was near normal, and the distribution was mostly typical in Belg-producing areas of North and South Wollo Zones in Amhara Region, Southern Tigray Zone of Tigray Region, and much of East and West Hararghe Zones of eastern Oromia Region. There were a few dry spells, the most prolonged dry spell being between the seasons in May/June after the Belg rains ended but before the Kiremt rains started, there was enough soil moisture obtained for planting and crop growth. This resulted in near average Belg production in the northeastern Amhara and Tigray. Sufficient rainfall in April and May allowed mostly normal area planted for long-cycle sorghum and maize in these areas and in East and West Hararghe Zones of eastern Oromia Region. In some areas in Southern Tigray, the rainfall was heavier than usual in May, which led to faster growth of long-cycle sorghum. However, drier conditions in June have since retarded the sorghum’s growth.

    February to May Belg rainfall was below normal in amount, and much more unevenly distributed over both space and time in most parts of North Shewa, East Shewa, Arsi, and West Arsi Zones of central Oromia Region. After a near normal start in March, the rainfall amounts started to decline. Most of these areas had a prolonged dry spell in April and May. This has resulted in a below-average Belg planted area and production. For instance, only 64 and 37 percent of the normal Belg planted area was planted in Arsi and North Shewa Zones, respectively. Belg crops make up an average of 20 to 25 percent of annual crop production in these areas. Belg production was well below average. The dry conditions and associated poor crops development was most severe in the highlands of Arsi Zone, including Diksis, Jeju, Sire, and Limubilbilo Woredas. For example, in Sire Woreda, the Belg crop was estimated to have only 10 percent of average volume. The drier than normal weather in May and June has also retarded the growth of crops in the lowlands of East and West Hararghe Zones in eastern Oromia. Some crops wilted, and others completely dried up and died.

    While the start of July to September Kiremt rains was at a near normal time, and the rainfall has generally been normal to above normal in western parts of the country, the Kiremt rains started late, in northeastern Amhara and Tigray Regions and central and eastern Oromia Region. In central and eastern Oromia, the late start and low amounts of rain have extended the dry period. Many of these areas also had an early end to the Belg rains. This has reduced planting of Meher crops.

    Livestock: Pasture and water availability is normal in northeastern Amhara and Tigray Regions and the highlands of East and West Hararghe Zones of eastern Oromia. Crop residues from the above-normal Meher harvest from October 2013 to January 2014 also were available for livestock. However, pasture and water did not fully regenerate during the Belg in central Oromia, in particular, in Diksis, Jeju, Limubilbilo, Sude, and Seru Woredas in Arsi Zone, Gedeb-asasa, Adaba, and Dodola Woredas in West Arsi Zone, and Adami-Tulu Woreda in East Shewa Zone. The resulting shortage of pasture and water has led to very poor livestock conditions. In April and May, 40,000 cattle, horse, sheep, and goat deaths were reported. It is estimated that over half a million livestock remain in areas with shortages of pasture and water.

    In lowland areas of East and West Hararghe Zones of eastern Oromia Region, water and pasture scarcity has been reported. In a typical year, cattle are returned to areas closer to homesteads in February with the start of the Belg rains, but this year the migrated cattle are still in the Mojo, Ramis, Gobele, Erer, and Awash-Fentale River valleys. Livestock body conditions in those areas have declined, and milk yields are lower than normal.

    Markets: As the June to September lean season is underway in most western parts of Amhara, Tigray, and Oromia Regions, demand on markets has increased. Staple food prices have gradually increased since March. However, prices are similar to last year. The main markets remain well supplied. Similarly, livestock prices have remained mostly stable, but livestock with poorer body conditions do have less favorable prices. Currently, urban casual labor is the main type of labor opportunity available. There are a high number of workers seeking urban casual labor, but unusually, the wage rate has been stable since last year at around ETB 30 to 40 per day.

    Health and Nutrition: OTP admissions were mostly stable in Amhara and Tigray Regions. However, since March, admissions have been rising in eastern and central Oromia. For instance, 4,389 malnourished children and 479 cases of severe acute malnutrition (SAM) with health complications were admitted to Stabilization Centers (SC) in West Hararghe in June. Incidence of measles has been reported throughout the country. According to WHO, in June, nearly 1,000 suspected cases of measles were reported nationwide, with n 70 percent being in Amhara and Oromia Regions.

    Assumptions

    In addition to the national assumptions described above, the following assumptions have been made about eastern Meher- and Belg-producing areas in eastern Tigray, Amhara, and Oromia:

    • Agricultural labor opportunities are expected to be less available than usual in northeastern Amhara and Tigray and central and eastern parts of Oromia Region. This will be due to the anticipated below normal Kiremt rainfall, especially reducing demand for harvest labor.
    • Emergency food assistance is likely to continue in some areas through September.
    • Displaced households in the lowlands of East Hararghe are not expected to return to their places of origin before December.
    Most Likely Food Security Outcomes

    In areas where the Belg rains led to near normal harvests and improved conditions for livestock in northeastern Amhara and Tigray Regions, households will be able to address their food needs but unable to fully cover their essential non-food expenses due to consecutive poor Belg performance in previous years. These areas will remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2) through at least December.

    In central Tigray, parts of North and South Gondar Zones, and North Shewa Zone of Amhara, and some areas of central Oromia Region, the Meher harvest last year was near normal, and households currently have income from livestock and labor. These areas will be Stressed (IPC Phase 2) from now until September. On the other hand, most parts of East and West Hararghe in eastern Oromia have had less rainfall and are likely continue to be Stressed (IPC Phase 2!) only with the presence of humanitarian assistance from July to September 2014.

    From October to December, poor and very poor households will have their own Meher harvest as well as some cash income from harvest labor. Therefore, poor and very poor households in most parts of northeastern Amhara and Tigray Region as well as central and eastern parts of Oromia Region will improve to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) from October to December.

    Areas of concern

    The Arsi highlands and the West Arsi lowlands in central Oromia: The below-normal Belg rains resulted in far below-average Belg production. Drinking water is difficult to locate, and pasture is in short supply. In the highlands of Arsi Zone, large-scale livestock deaths occurred. With few ways to earn income at this time of year, poor households are likely to be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) from July to September, being unable to purchase enough food. However, the ongoing June to September Kiremt rains are like to increase pasture and water availability, eventually increasing livestock productivity. The rains are also likely to allow further crop development, so from October to December, there will likely be some Meher crops to harvest. The harvest will also increased demand for labor. Thus, poor households in these areas will improve to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) from October to December as their income and own production recovers.

    Eastern Tigray and the Tekeze River catchment in northern Amhara and southern Tigray: Due to much below Meher 2013 production from October to December last year, poor and very poor households in Eastern Tigray exhausted their food stocks earlier than usual in January instead of April. With continued high demand on markets, staple food prices are likely to increase in the coming months, and incomes are not likely to substantially increase before the harvest. Therefore, household will continue to be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) from July to September. However, based on the rainfall performance so far, the Meher 2014 harvest in October is likely to be below average. However, households will have some harvest and cash income from agricultural labor. These areas will improve to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) from October through December.

    Lowlands of East Hararghe Zone in eastern Oromia: Though there is no active, ongoing conflict, most of the households who were displaced in the lowlands of East Hararghe, particularly from Meyu Muluke Woreda, due to conflict late last year have not yet returned to their places of origin. Approximately 50,000 people remain displaced. The displacement, early cessation of the Belg rains in May, and generally drier weather in May and June has hindered planting and other agricultural activities. Belg planted area was below average, and much of the planted crops dried out before reaching maturity. Pasture and water for livestock are also less available than usual due to the dry spells. It is unlikely that the displaced households will return to their land to plant during the Kiremt rains, so as a result, poor and very poor households in the lowlands of East Hararghe will remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) through December 2014.

    SNNPR, excluding South Omo Zone

    Current Situation

    The Belg harvest started in June, and the own produced root crops, haricot beans, and maize have increased households’ access to their own produced food. At the same time, labor opportunities are more available, wage rates have increased, and income from firewood and grass sales have continued. Incomes for poorer households have seasonally increased. Root crop prices declined after the harvest, increasing food access for households still purchasing food. Therefore, most households in SNNPR are able to meet their current food and essential non-food needs. Most areas are currently Minimal (IPC Phase 1).

    Belg production was below average in Shebedino, Boricha, and Loka Abaya Woredas in Sidama Zone, Mirab Abaya, Kemba, and Bonke Woredas in Gamo Gofa, and Amaro and Konso Woredas in Segen Zone. These areas had less rainfall or localized hazard events such as dry spells or hail or flooding or waterlogging. While the available Belg harvest has increased food access in these areas, households are still consuming food and using other items provided through humanitarian assistance. These areas are currently at Minimal (IPC Phase 1!) but only with the presence of humanitarian assistance.

    Belg: For most parts of the region, cumulative February to May Belg rainfall was near normal. The start and end of the rains was timely. However, the temporal distribution and the intensity of rainfall were uneven in some areas of Segen, Gamo Gofa, and Sidama Zones, particularly in April and May. Hailstorms, torrential rains, and landslides occurred in some areas of Gamo Gofa, Sidama, Segen, and Hadiya Zones. These events moderately damaged Belg crops in these areas, but this year Belg rainfall was generally conducive for agriculture, pasture regeneration, and making water available.

    Kiremt: This year, the June to September Kiremt rains have been near average so far, with a normal timing of the start and mostly normal distribution patterns. However, cumulative rainfall in June and July was below average in some parts of Guraghe, Silte, Hadiya, Kambata Tambaro, and Halaba. Planting of short-cycle Meher crops is underway. Meher crops in SNNPR include wheat, barley, field peas, fava beans, haricot beans, maize, sorghum, teff, Irish potato, sweet potato, taro, ginger, red pepper, and coffee. Households are planting all of these crops except ginger. Ginger-growing is discouraged since crop rotation is being used to stop the spread of bacterial wilt in ginger. The normal planting window for most Meher crops extends until the end of August.

    Sweet potato harvest and planting: Planting and harvesting time of sweet potato takes place in October/November and again in April /May. Since the region received near average rainfall both the June to September 2013 Kiremt rains and February to May 2014 Belg rains, planted area increased above recent years. As a result, this year’s Belg sweet potato production is higher than last year. Currently, sweet potato is being harvested, and farmers have larger reserves of sweet potato cuttings for planting in October/November.

    Markets: Maize prices are stable in most local markets, probably due to reduced demand while household are consuming their own green maize. On the other hand, the prices of wheat, teff, and haricot beans in June have increased slightly since last month and are higher than last year. This is because the supply of new harvest to markets has not yet started as crops are being dried, processed, or just now being harvested. Dry maize and other grains on markets are from larger markets in other parts of the country. However, due to the increase in supply of root crops, primarily sweet potato and taro, their prices declined from May to June and are less than last year. Following the start of Meher crop planting, both the wage rates for agricultural labor and the number of work opportunities available increased.

    Health and Nutrition: The number admissions of malnourished children to the Therapeutic Feeding Program (TFP) in May was more than in April. Total admissions in SNNPR in May was 10 percent higher than April but 13 percent lower than last May. Despite the slight increase in the number of admissions, the overall nutritional status of the population is currently likely to be stable due to the start of the Belg harvest in June.

    Assumptions

    In addition to the national assumptions described above, the following additional assumption has been made about SNNPR:

    • With Meher crop planting in July and August and harvesting from October through December, labor demand is likely to be seasonably high, so the number of labor opportunities available and the wage rates are likely to seasonally increase.
    Most Likely Food Security Outcomes

    The remainder of the June to September Kiremt rainfall is likely to be near average in amount with normal spatial and temporal distribution. Both long-cycle and short-cycle Meher crops will provide labor opportunities for planting, weeding, and harvesting, allowing many households to access income from agricultural labor. The near average Belg harvest followed by likely near average Meher production should mean prices remains stable through October, and they are likely to decline toward the end of the year. With stable prices and sufficient income, even poorer households will continue to be able to access food. Pasture and water are likely to remain available, so livestock body conditions, production, and productivity will also be enhanced.

    The average Belg production anticipated near average Meher harvest from October through December will significantly increase households’ access to their own produced food and increase the supply of grain in markets. Normal progress of Meher crops will creates markets for labor opportunities at better wages and also for grass sales. Therefore, food security in most parts of SNNPR will improve from Stressed (IPC Phase 2) to Minimal (IPC Phase 1) from July to December.

    Areas of concern

    Ginger-producing areas of Hadero Tunto, Kacha Bira, and Tambaro Woredas in Kambata Tambaro Zone: The average Belg production improved household income and food access. Most households found short-cycle Belg seeds to plant on available land. Stable or falling food prices have enabled most households to fully recover from the impact of last year’s ginger failure due to bacterial wilt. Therefore, food security in ginger-producing areas is likely to improve to Minimal (IPC Phase 1) from July to December 2014.

    Shebedino, Boricha, and Loka Abaya Woredas of Sidama, Mirab Abaya, Kemba, and Bonke Woredas of Gamo Gofa, and Amaro and Konso Woredas of Segen Zone: Belg production is below average in these areas due to hail, far too heavy rain, and landslides. These areas will be Minimal (IPC Phase 1!) only with the presence of humanitarian assistance from July to September. However, with increased availability of labor opportunities and food from the Meher harvest from October through December, these areas will move into Minimal (IPC Phase 1).


    Events That Might Change the Outlook

    Table 1: Possible events over the next six months that could change the most-likely scenario.

    Area

    Event

    Impact on food security outcomes

    Western Meher-producing areas

    Poor performance of the June to September Kiremt rains

     

    Poor performance or early cessation of the Kiremt rains would affect the total, national Meher production. Less production would likely lead to increases in food prices and decreased labor demand. This would affect migratory laborers from other parts of the country and most markets would be affected.

    Pastoral areas

    Livestock disease outbreaks

    With poor livestock body conditions and productivity already prevalent, large-scale livestock deaths could occur. This could further reduce household food access, causing many households to enter Crisis (IPC Phase 3).

    Pastoral areas

    Below-average October to December Deyr/Hagaya rains

    Further deterioration of livestock body conditions and productivity would reduce household food access from the likely significant reduction in household income from livestock sales.

    Pastoral areas

    Well above-average October to December Deyr/Hageya rains

    During an El Niño, heavy rains and associated river flooding are possible. Along the Shebelle River, flooding would damage crops planted along the bank and cause temporary waterlogging and likely even displacement.

    Gambella Region

    A larger-than-expected influx of refugees from South Sudan

    The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates total number of South Sudanese refugees to reach about 350,000 people by the end of 2014. Planning using this number is underway. However, an even larger influx of refuges would create resource competition in Gambella Region for firewood, wild foods, water, and other resources, likely increasing the food insecurity of local population and stretching resources for services being provided to refugees.

    Figures Seasonal calendar in a typical year

    Figure 1

    Seasonal calendar in a typical year

    Source: FEWS NET

    Current food security outcomes, July 2014

    Figure 2

    Current food security outcomes, July 2014

    Source: FEWS NET

    Figure 3

    Source:

    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.

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