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Illustrating the extent and severity of the 2015 drought

  • Special Report
  • Ethiopia
  • December 17, 2015
Illustrating the extent and severity of the 2015 drought

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  • Preface

  • Preface

    An assessment of historical rainfall data indicates that central/eastern Ethiopia has experienced the worst drought in more than 50 years. As a result, a major food security Emergency is expected to persist through much of 2016. This report presents a series of maps which illustrate the extent and the severity of the drought as well as its impacts on water availability, crop and rangeland conditions, and food security. For a more detailed narrative and analysis of the drought’s current and expected impacts on food security, please visit

    This map provides a more detailed view of how rainfall between March and September 2015 deviated from the 1981-2014 average in Ethiopia. During this period rainfall was more than 35 percent below average across much of Afar Region, northern Somali Region, and parts of eastern Amhara. An even larger area had rainfall more than 25 percent below average.

    Please click the Download button at the top to view the full report with aditional maps.

    Figures Map 2. March – September 2015 rainfall anomaly (% of the 1981-2014 average) for Ethiopia

    Figure 1

    Map 2

    Source: FEWS NET/USGS

    Occasionally, FEWS NET will publish a Special Report that serves to provide an in-depth analysis of food security issues of particular concern that are not covered in FEWS NET’s regular monthly reporting. These reports may focus on a specific factor driving food security outcomes anywhere in the world during a specified period of time. For example, in 2019, FEWS NET produced a Special Report on widespread flooding in East Africa and its associated impacts on regional food security.

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