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Emergency outcomes likely to persist in southeastern pastoral areas

  • Food Security Outlook
  • Ethiopia
  • June 2017
Emergency outcomes likely to persist in southeastern pastoral areas

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  • Key Messages
  • Assumptions
  • Most Likely Food Security Outcomes
  • Partner
    Key Messages
    • The greatest areas of concern in Ethiopia are in Dollo and Korahe zones in Somali Region where poor households are expected to be in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) through January 2018. Food assistance delivery by both WFP and the Somali Regional Government has been interrupted since mid-May, and if it does not resume by the end of July, some of the worst-affected households are expected to move into Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5) and levels of acute malnutrition and mortality may rise further. 

    • Following the below-average performance of the Gu/Genna rainy season after the failed previous season, other southeastern pastoral areas are expected to face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes through at least November due to the poor regeneration of pasture and water resources that have negatively impacted livestock productivity and household income. The forecasted above-average 2017 Deyr rainy season is expected to lead to gradual improvements in livestock body conditions and productivity, improving household food and income access.

    • The 2017 Belg harvests are estimated to be below average in most Belg-producing areas of the country, which will lead to a significant reduction in household food access. Late planting, particularly in lowland areas of SNNPR, has led to a two-month delay in the harvest. Poor households in portions of SNNPR, eastern Oromia, and northeastern Amhara are likely to be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) through the lean period through the end of September.

    • Pledged and available resources for PSNP and humanitarian assistance, associated with the Ethiopia Humanitarian Requirements Document (HRD), is only expected through the end of June. Although additional funding has been committed to WFP and JEOP, specific funding levels, timing of deliveries, and the number of beneficiaries that will be able to be reached are currently unclear. In Somali Region, where the needs are the highest, the numbers exceed the planned beneficiary amounts, and emergency assistance will be required through at least early 2018. In JEOP operational areas of Oromia, Amhara, Tigray, and SNNPR, the needs for emergency food assistance are expected to decline in October with the Meher harvest.  


    Current Situation

    Nationally, food security is worse than typical due to the past poor 2016/17 rainy seasons, which led to below-average production and negatively affected livestock. The size of the food insecure population is lower than it was during the 2015/16 El Niño drought, but the needs are still high. The area of greatest concern is in eastern Somali Region. However, in other southern pastoral areas, as well as eastern Oromia, lowlands of SNNPR, northern Amhara, and southern Tigray, poor households are facing difficulties meeting their minimum food needs.

    Seasonal progress. The Gu/Genna season (March to May), which is the main rainy season for southern and southeastern pastoral areas of Ethiopia, had a late onset, particularly in southeast Somali Region. The rainfall was generally below average, with large areas experiencing less than 70 percent of average, and in some areas of Somali Region it was less than 40 percent (see Figure 1). A large portion of the rainfall fell in late April and early May, and ended early in southeastern portions of the country.

    The Belg (February to May) rainy season was initially below average through mid-April across Gamo Gofa, Segen, and Wolayita zones of SNNPR, northeastern Amhara, southern Tigray, and parts of Afar, bordering Amhara and Tigray; and characterized by long dry spells.  By late April and early May, the rainfall performance improved to more typical levels, except over southern Belg-producing areas, particularly in SNNPR. However, cumulative totals remained below average across many areas. The Belg rains continued through to the beginning of the Kiremt (June to September) rainy season, avoiding typical dry spells from late May through mid-June.

    There was a timely onset of the Kiremt season across most areas of the country, and in some areas, it even started early. However, rainfall has not started in northeastern areas that typically begins later, during the first and/or second dekads in July. The June Kiremt rainfall was generally favorable across most of Ethiopia, with some pocket areas receiving below-average amounts in central and southwestern areas, particularly in portions of Oromia and northern SNNPR as well as portions of Amhara. The western highlands received above-average amounts (25 to 200 mm).

    Pasture, water, and livestock. Due to the near complete failure of the 2016 Deyr/Hageya rainy season, followed by the extended dry period through April 2017, significant livestock deaths of all species have occurred in southern and southeastern pastoral areas due to the poor rangeland conditions and limited water availability. However, by mid-May, due to enhanced and late season Gu/Genna/Belg rains, there were slight improvements in water and pasture availability in eastern and central regions. Ponds in the lowlands of eastern Oromia were not fully replenished, but the water supply for livestock increased. Households that had moved their cattle to river valleys returned to areas closer to homesteads. However, livestock body conditions in eastern Oromia have still not fully recovered. In drought-affected southern and southeastern parts of the country, there were also marginal improvements in May, but the availability of pasture was below average since it was not able to regenerate as usual due to the severity of the degradation. In these areas, livestock body conditions remain poor, and there is virtually no milk production since livestock births have not been occurring.

    Belg season. Due to the late start of the Belg rains and below-average amounts, late planting occurred in many Belg-harvesting areas, especially in lowland areas of SNNPR, including Gamo Gofa, Wolayita, Alaba, parts of Sidama and Silltie, and eastern Gurage zones. Not only was there late planting, but total planting areas were lower. In eastern Oromia, although the planting performance of Belg crops improved in April through mid-May, the total area planted stood at 50 and 20 percent of the planned 61,047 and 67,425 hectares of land in East and West Hararghe zones, respectively. However, these areas can still replant for the Meher season, which is not the case for lowland areas of SNNPR. In Belg-harvesting areas of Amhara Region, planting levels were higher. As of mid-May, about 89 percent of the planned 172,044 hectares of arable land for the season were covered with Belg crops. Besides below-average rainfall, seed access across the country was also a factor that led to lower levels of planting. Compared to other years, the 2016 poor rainy season and declining incomes limited the availability and ability for farmers to purchase both seeds and fertilizers.  

    In SNNPR, due to late planting, the green and dry Belg maize is likely to be delayed by more than two months, and is not expected until early August. Typically in June, the Belg green maize would be available for consumption. Most crops are currently at the later stages of growth. Normally, more crops would be at the flowering stage in North Shewa of Amhara. In central and eastern Oromia, maize is at the vegetative stages. 

    End-of-the-season May rainfall did benefit Belg crops, including maize, haricot beans, and sorghum, as well as long-cycle crops planted during the Belg but will not be harvested until the Meher. Also this rainfall facilitated land preparation for Meher short-cycle crops like barley, wheat, teff, and pulses.

    Fall Armyworm (FAW) infestations. In western parts of the country, from southwestern SNNPR to northwestern Amhara, where more than 90 percent of Ethiopia’s annual maize crop production comes from, FAW infestations have affected maize crop fields. As per a May report from the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, FAO, and the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYIT), the pest, first reported in Yeki Woreda of SNNPR at the end of February 2017, spread to western parts of Oromia and Gambela, and very recently to Benshangul Gumuz, Amhara, and Tigray regions of the country. It is now in 43 zones and 308 woredas, affecting a total of 205,790 hectares of maize fields.

    According to the same report, the damage level varies across the regions and woredas. For example, the level of damage and loss for maize is estimated to be 15-30 percent of the total maize crop for the entire SNNPR Region and slightly less at 5-20 percent in Oromia. In Bench Maji zone of SNNPR, 100 percent of the maize crop was lost. The federal government, in coordination with the respective regions, has tried to spray and prevent the spreading of FAW. However, the absence of locally-generated knowledge on FAW is reportedly one of the biggest challenges in combatting the pest.

    Market supply and prices. Prices of staple food grains, particularly maize, significantly increased in April and May 2017 across the country in all local markets due to supply shortages and increased demand from both non- and drought-affected parts of the country. (This year due to the below-average Meher harvest in November and December 2016, food stocks were exhausted atypically early, which has led to a longer than normal market dependence.) For example, the May 2017 EGTE maize price in Hosanna market in SNNPR was 11.2, 32.7, and 32.5 percent higher compared to maize prices in April 2017, May 2016, and the five-year average, respectively. The April 2017 maize price data also shows an increase in Meyu in East Hararghe Zone of Oromia and Hawi Gudina in West Hararghe Zone by 25 and 20 percent, respectively, compared to April 2016.

    Livestock prices, on the other hand, have been mixed. In Addis Ababa, western, northwestern, and central parts of the country, livestock prices have remained relatively stable or slightly increased. However, in southern pastoral and southeastern lowlands of the country, affected by the 2016/17 drought and the impact of abnormally drier conditions from the 2017 Gu/Genna rains, poorer than usual livestock body conditions and a greater supply on local markets, which have reduced market demand, have led to lower livestock values.

    Health and Nutrition. According to the Ethiopia Nutrition Coordination Unit (ENCU), countrywide, the 2017 project caseload for children experiencing severe acute malnutrition (SAM) is 303,000. The caseload for moderate acute malnutrition (MAM) of pregnant and lactating women (PLW) and children is 2.7 million.

    From January to April 2017, the largest increases in severe acute malnutrition cases have been in Somali Region, representing about a quarter of all of the country’s cases, followed by SNNPR. Also the Somali Region Therapeutic Feeding Program (TFP) admissions showed an increasing trend from 5,942 in January 2017 to 7,835 in March, with a slight reduction in April to 6,795.

    In addition, SNNPR monthly TFP admissions show a steady increase each month between January and April 2017. In April, TFP admissions increased to 5,518 cases (93.8 percent reporting rate) from 5,298 (93.7 percent reporting rate) in March. Approximately 15 percent of the children were in inpatient treatment stabilization centers (SC), which is much higher than the national monthly average of about eight percent, and is above the 10 percent threshold expected in emergency responses. Significant increases in TFP admissions in April were reported in Kemba and Zala woredas of Gamo Gofa Zone, Wonago Woreda of Gedeo Zone, East West Badewacho of Hadiya Zone, Alaba Special Woreda, Konso Woreda of Segen Hizboach Zone, and Dara and Boricha woredas of Sidama Zone.

    Refugees from South Sudan and Somalia. According to UNCHR, as of May 31, 2017, the total registered number of refugees and asylum seekers in Ethiopia was 838,722. The country of origin breakdown as a percentage is 45.1 from South Sudan, 29.8 from Somalia, 19.2 from Eritrea, five from Sudan, and less than one percent from other countries. Between February and May 2017, approximately 34,958 South Sudanese refugees entered Ethiopia, nearly all of them in Gambela Region. This brings the total number of South Sudanese refugees to approximately 378,285 who have entered Ethiopia since December 2013. On the other hand, the number of refugees fleeing Somalia have fallen compared to previous months, and the total number of Somalia refugees in Ethiopia at the end of May was 249,903.

    Humanitarian Requirements Document. The 2017 Humanitarian Requirements Document (HRD) estimated a total of 5.6 million people between January to June 2017 would require humanitarian assistance. However, in April, the Government of Ethiopia revised these figures upward to 7.8 million. As part of the revised HRD, the National Disaster Risk Management Commission (NDRMC), WFP, and JEOP had been providing emergency humanitarian assistance that was planned and funded only through the end of June. However, as of July 21, both WFP and JEOP indicate that additional funding has been committed and secured for additional assistance, though specific funding levels, timing of deliveries, and the number of beneficiaries and rounds of food/cash aid is currently unclear.

    In Somali Region, WFP and NDRMC planned to provide 1.7 million people monthly rations, but the fourth round distributions in May were only for one million people due to resource constraints. The rations per person per month were slated to be 15 kg of cereals, 1.5 kg of pulses, and 0.45 liters of oil with the expectation that the provision will provide 2,100 kcal per day per beneficiary, but due to larger numbers of people in need, particularly in Dollo and Korahe zones, the amount per person was lower in the fourth round. In Oromia, Amhara, Tigray, and SNNPR, 900,000 people have been assisted by JEOP, and beneficiaries have received the same ration sizes as were initially reportedly being distributed in Somali Region. 


    The most-likely scenario from June 2017 to January 2018 is based on the following national-level assumptions:


    • ENSO conditions are currently neutral. Based on the June IRI/CPC forecast, the most likely scenario is for ENSO neutral conditions through early 2018.
    • The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is currently neutral. The most likely IOD phase during summer and fall 2017 is positive, according to the majority of climate forecasting centers.
    • According to recent international and national forecasts, the Kiremt rainy season (June to September) is expected to have an early to timely onset and be average in terms of total cumulative rainfall. It is likely that there will be better spatial distribution of rainfall over western parts of Ethiopia.
    • The Karan/Karma rainy season in northern Somali Region and southern Afar (July to September) is expected to start on time and be near-average in terms of total cumulative rainfall.
    • Deyr/Hageya rainfall (October to December) in southeastern Ethiopia is expected to be above average in terms of total cumulative rainfall as a result of the likelihood of a positive IOD event.
    • According to the National Meteorology Agency, unseasonable rain during the harvesting season (October to January), which is typically a dry period, is expected, particularly over the central and northern half of Ethiopia, and it will likely have a negative effect on crop harvesting.
    • In July/August, when the Kiremt rains reach their peak, heavy rainfall is likely to generate atypical levels of flooding, particularly over flood-prone regions of Ethiopia. These areas include parts of Awash, Lake Tana, Abay, Baro-Akobo, and Omo-Gibe catchments and the plain areas. Also, during the Deyr/Hageya rains, heavy rains in southern and southeastern pastoral areas may cause flooding of some seasonal rivers. Flooding is expected to temporarily displace households, damage crops, and livestock, and potentially limit humanitarian access to flood-affected areas.


    • Following the below-average 2017 Gu/Genna season, pasture and water sources were not able to typically regenerate so from June onwards, until the Deyr/Hageya seasonal rains, the availability of pasture and water is expected to be below-average. However, beginning in late October, following the onset of the rains, both pasture and water availability are expected to improve through the end of the scenario period.
    • In southern and southeastern pastoral areas of the country, livestock body conditions and productivity atypically deteriorated during the below-average Gu/Genna season, and are only expected to stabilize and/or marginally and temporarily improve with enhanced late season rainfall. They will likely remain below average and deteriorate further during the dry season until the start of the Deyr/Hageya rains in October 2017. Beginning in November, it is likely that with increased pasture and browse, livestock body conditions and productivity will improve. Throughout the Outlook period, calving, lambing, kidding, and milk production will remain below average.

    Crop Production

    • Belg production is likely to be below average in most Belg-producing areas, particularly in northeastern Amhara, southern Tigray, and southern SNNPR, following the erratic and below-average rainfall and extended dry spells. Due to late planting caused by the delayed Belg rains, the maize harvest in Belg-producing parts of SNNPR is expected to begin at least two months later than normal. In addition, root crops across Belg-producing areas are also expected to perform poorly, while haricot bean and barley production might be slightly better.
    • National Meher production is likely to be average since there has been adequate rainfall since the end of April for land preparation and planting of long-maturing Meher crops as well as the forecast for average to below-average total cumulative Kiremt rainfall that is expected to support crops planted beginning in June.

    Fall Armyworm

    • Unknown in Ethiopia until March 2017, the Fall Armyworm (FAW, Spodoptera frugiperda) pest has infected maize fields in SNNPR, Oromia, Gambela, Benshangul Gumuz, Tigray, and in western parts of Amhara. According to FAO, due to the extended and staggered planting seasons in Ethiopia, the maize crop is particularly susceptible to FAW, and potentially all maize crop growing areas in the country could be at risk. The impact on crop (maize and other crops) production will depend on the Government of Ethiopia putting in place a robust monitoring system, integrated pest management (IPM) strategies for control, and a coordinated approach.

    Markets and Trade

    • Since typical Belg production represents a small portion of total annual production, the harvest in June/July does not significantly affect the cereal supply in central markets like Addis Ababa but it increases supply in local markets. However, this year, expected below-average production in Amhara and Tigray in June/July and delayed harvesting in SNNPR, by about two months, will affect the supply of food grains, and they will remain atypically low through September, even in Belg-producing areas. With the anticipated late Belg harvest in September and Meher harvest starting in October, the supply of cereals will increase and is expected to follow its normal trend for the rest of the scenario period. 
    • Prices of locally-produced staple cereals, such as sorghum, maize, barley, and teff, are likely to follow seasonal trends at somewhat above-average levels through the peak of the lean season in September 2017. Between October and January, following the Meher harvest, prices are expected to decline seasonally following increased market supply and lower household market demand.
    • According to the Informal Cross Border Trade Monitoring System (XBT), maize exports to northern Kenya and bean exports to coastal Kenya are expected to increase seasonably through the scenario period to January 2018. Exports are most likely to be above average because of the very tight supplies in Kenya, following Kenya’s January 2017 below-average harvest and the expected below-average July to September harvest in the adjacent supply areas of central and northeastern areas of Kenya.

    Income-Earning Opportunities

    • From June to January 2017, agricultural labor opportunities are likely to be normal, following planting, weeding, and harvesting in Kiremt-receiving regions of SNNPR, Amhara, Gambela, Benshangul Gumuz, and Tigray. However, due to the expected increase in the number of people in search of labor, particularly from June to September, the wage rate will remain low and likely improve later in the year as major construction activities in the country resume, beginning in October, after the Kiremt season ends.
    • In general, other household income from self-employment opportunities, like petty trading and social support of both in-kind and cash, are expected to slightly improve during the October to January 2017 period following a likely average Meher harvest.

    Health and Nutrition

    • The reported outbreak of Acute Watery Diarrhea (AWD), which is predominately of greatest concern in Somali Region, but has also occurred in other regions, including Oromia, Afar, and Amhara, is expected to directly contribute to increased cases of acute malnutrition in these areas, particularly during the dry period from June to September when water shortages are likely to increase the number of cases. In addition, the disease burdens will likely force households to divert their limited income and time that would have been used to procure food to seek treatment. This will compromise food access at the household level that has already been diminished by drought.
    • There is secured funding through November 2017 for the treatment of severe acute malnutrition (SAM) for a caseload of 303,000 people countrywide. However, funding for moderate acute malnutrition (MAM) treatment is expected to be fully depleted by July 2017, and it is unclear if more funding can be secured for the lean season period (June to September) and beyond. If no funding is secured to continue the MAM operations, this will likely increase the caseload for SAM, and there will be a higher risk of mortality.

    Safety Net/Humanitarian Assistance

    • PSNP transfers started late, so they will be carried out past June but not beyond the planned six month transfers.
    • Although additional funding has been committed to WFP and JEOP for humanitarian assistance delivery in Somali Region and JEOP operational areas, specific funding levels, timing of deliveries, and the number of beneficiaries that will be able to be reached are currently unclear. Without this confirmed information, the continuation of humanitarian assistance is ambiguous, and these programs were not included in FEWS NET’s analysis.
    • As of August 1, a pipeline break is anticipated countrywide for targeted supplementary feeding (TSF).

    Most Likely Food Security Outcomes

    In south and southeastern pastoral areas of the country (most parts of Somali, southern Oromia, and southern SNNPR), food access for poor and very poor households remains significantly constrained due to substantially smaller herd sizes after drought-related livestock deaths, and livestock body conditions for all species, particularly cattle, remain poor. Livestock productivity is below-average, and in some of the worst-affected areas in Somali Region, there is virtually no milk production. Goats and sheep are expected to conceive in June and July but at below-average rates given the drought conditions, and will only start to give birth at the end of the scenario period. Livestock prices remain below average as staple food prices have risen and are expected to continue to rise through September ahead of the Meher harvest, which has led to low livestock-to-cereals terms of trade. With the forecast for above-average Deyr/Hageya rains, livestock body conditions are likely to only start improving by November as pasture and water resources begin to be replenished. This is expected to lead to a slight improvement in livestock prices and productivity.

    Poor households face severely limited incomes and these are expected to continue through at least the dry season until October. In order to cover their food gaps, households are resorting to irreversible coping strategies, including excessive sale of livestock. In some areas this option is not even possible since some pastoralists have lost all of their livestock assets, especially in the worst drought-affected zones of Dollo, Jarar, Korahe and to some extent in Liben and Nogob zones. Some poor households are able to rely on social support from better-off households, but this is limited, and many more households have subsisted solely on humanitarian assistance since they have exhausted their income sources from livestock and livestock products. In Dollo Zone, many households moved into IDP camps to seek emergency food assistance. Household access to food and income through the end of the scenario period and beyond is expected to be constrained because it will take time for herd sizes to recover from these losses.

    Due to the uncertainty about humanitarian assistance delivery, poor households in South Omo of SNNPR, Borena of Oromia, and Afder, Liben, Nogob, and northern parts of Korahe and Shebelle zones in Somali Region will likely continue to face food consumption gaps and be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) through September. Then by October, South Omo,  Borena, Guji, Bale lowlands, and portions of Afder and Liben are likely to improve to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) since the rainfall deficits were not as severe during the Gu/Genna season as in other areas, and the beginning of the Deyr/Hageya rainy season is expected to bring subsequent improvements. However, there is still the possibility that some poor households will still face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes. Nogob and northern parts of Korahe and Shebelle zones of Somali Region are expected to remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) through January 2018. Due to accelerated asset depletion in Dollo, and portions of Korahe, Shebelle, and Afder zones from both distress sales and animal deaths, household’s access to food and income has fallen dramatically. In addition, given the deaths of pack camels, other income generating activities, like charcoal and firewood production, are not possible. As a result, these areas are likely to remain in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) throughout the scenario period.

    To quantify the impact of the drought on local households, in June, FEWS NET conducted a Household Economy Approach (HEA) Outcome Analysis, using the recently updated baselines for Somali Region. This analysis indicates that, even with safety-net transfers, approximately 2.5 million people will require emergency food assistance in Somali region during the July-December period, which is larger than current HRD estimates. Of this total, roughly two-thirds will face survival deficits of more than 20 percent, indicating Emergency (IPC Phase 4). Areas of particular concern include the Korahe-Gode Pastoral (KGP), Afder Pastoral (AFP), and Lowland Hawd Pastoral (LHP) livelihood zones where poor households are projected to face survival deficits which approach, or exceed, 50 percent - the threshold for Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5) - during the July-September 2017 period (see Figure 2). In Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5), even with any humanitarian assistance, households face extreme food consumption gaps even with the full employment of coping strategies.

    In the lowlands of central and eastern Oromia, the Rift Valley of SNNPR, the lowlands of Waghimra & Abay river catchment of East Gojam Zone of Amhara, and Tekeze River catchments of Tigray, during June to September, this coincides with the typical lean season for these areas of the country. Poor households have already exhausted their stocks from the 2016 Meher and in June, before the expected below-average Belg harvest begins, there will be an earlier than normal exhaustion of food stocks. In some lowland areas of SNNPR, the harvest is expected to be up to two months late, which means that poor households will need to be market dependent even more than usual and with limited incomes. Access to income from agricultural labor is expected to improve in Belg-dependent areas, beginning in September, and in Meher-dependent areas starting in October; however, it is still unlikely to be sufficient to cover all household food needs. As a result, worst-affected areas, such as Tekeze River catchments of Tigray, lowlands of Waghimra, West and East Hararghe, and lowlands of Bale in Oromia Region are expected to remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3), while other areas are likely to be in Stressed (IPC Phase 2) between June and September. However, with expected improved access to food and income during October 2017 to January 2018 with the new Meher harvest, these areas are likely to improve by one phase to either Stressed (IPC Phase 2) or Minimal (IPC Phase 1).  

    In Belg-dependent areas of South Tigray and South and North Wollo zones of Amhara Region, with the expected below- average Belg harvest, access to food and income is likely to be constrained between June to September, especially as staple food prices are expected to rise through October due to lower supplies and uncertainty over levels of humanitarian assistance. As a result, Belg-producing parts of southern Tigray and northeastern Amhara are expected to remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) through September. However, with expected improved food access in September from the late Belg harvest, and in October onwards from the 2017 Meher harvest, these areas of the country are projected to be in Stressed (IPC Phase 2) as poor households will be able to meet their minimum food needs but will forgo essential non-food needs.

    However, in the Meher-dependent eastern half of Tigray and Amhara regions, these areas are likely to remain in Stressed (IPC Phase 2) through the lean season period through September. Since livestock body conditions began to improve in May with better rainfall that is projected to continue through the Kiremt season, as well as the expected near-average production from the Meher season, household food and income access in these areas are projected to improve to Minimal (IPC Phase 1), except in some isolated portions of South Tigray, and South and North Wollo.

    In the western half of the country in western and central Oromia, Amhara, Tigray, SNNPR, as well as Gambela, and Benshangul Gumuz regions, poor households are projected to be able to maintain adequate access to food and income throughout the scenario period. Forecasted near-average Kiremt rainfall is likely to lead to near-average 2017 Meher production and further improve access to pasture for livestock, which will contribute to normal milk yields and livestock prices. Additionally, beginning in June, income from agricultural labor is expected to increase from Meher-related agricultural activities. It is possible that the current infestation of FAW could severely affect maize fields if it is not properly controlled, which could mean an earlier-than- normal start of the lean season in 2018. In addition, it is most likely that its most immediate impact would be shortages of grain supplies to eastern production deficit markets. Throughout the scenario period, these western areas are expected to remain in Minimal (IPC Phase 1) as poor households are anticipated to have sufficient food availability.

    In Afar and Sitti Zone of Somali Region, recent dryness and depletion of pasture has caused atypically low milk production of cattle and camels. However, the forecasted average to below-average Karan/Karma (July to September) rainy season is expected to improve pasture, browse, and water availability in major rangelands beginning in August. Consequently, even though household herd sizes are likely to remain low throughout the scenario period, there are expectations that with improved pasture and browse, livestock productivity and market values will rise. In addition, conceptions are likely to increase for goats and sheep in September and October 2017. However, income earned from other sources, such as causal labor, seasonal agricultural activities, salt mining, and self-employment, is expected to remain low through January 2018 due to an oversupply of labor competing for limited opportunities. Thus, poor and very poor households in Sitti Zone and central and northern parts of Afar Region are projected to remain in Stressed (IPC Phase 2) acute food insecurity throughout the scenario period as households are likely to continue to meet their minimum food needs as terms of trade improve but forgo their essential non-food needs due to income constraints.

    In response to uncertainty about humanitarian assistance from July onwards in Somali Region and JEOP operational areas of Oromia, Amhara, Tigray, and SNNPR, the Government of Ethiopia has noted its intention to provide assistance in the absence of external assistance, which would positively impact food security outcomes. However, since there is uncertainty on this implementation with respect to timing, procurements, logistics, and accessibility issues, this assistance was not included in FEWS NET’s analysis, but it will continue to monitor developments and provide updates as needed. 


    For more information on the outlook for specific areas of concern, please click the download button at the top of the page for the full report.


    Figure 1


    Source: FEWS NET

    Figure 1. March 1 – May 31, 2017 percent of average rainfall using Climate Hazards Group Precipitation with Stations (CHIRPS)

    Figure 2

    Figure 1. March 1 – May 31, 2017 percent of average rainfall using Climate Hazards Group Precipitation with Stations (CHIRPS) data

    Source: U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)/FEWS NET

    Figure 2.  Estimated size of survival deficits for the Poor Wealth Group, by livelihood zone, during the July-September 2017

    Figure 3

    Figure 2. Estimated size of survival deficits for the Poor Wealth Group, by livelihood zone, during the July-September 2017 period

    Source: FEWS NET

    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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