Presence Country
Food Security Outlook Update

Extreme levels of acute food insecurity to persist in southeastern pastoral areas

August 2017

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

  • Delivery of humanitarian assistance remains delayed in parts of Somali Region currently classified in Emergency (IPC Phase 4). An immediate and sustained resumption of assistance is needed to prevent households from facing more extreme outcomes. As food consumption gaps widen, levels of acute malnutrition and mortality may rise further. Areas of greatest concern include Dollo, Korahe, Degahabour, and Jarar zones.

  • FEWS NET expects large areas of Somali Region to remain in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) or Crisis (IPC Phase 3) between August 2017 and January 2018. In addition, parts of Amhara, Tigray, and northeastern SNNPR will remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) until Meher harvests begin in October, which should improve acute food insecurity to Minimal (IPC Phase 1) or Stressed (IPC Phase 2) levels between October 2017 and January 2018. 

  • On August 8, 2017, the National Disaster Response and Management Commission (NDRMC) released the mid-year review of the Humanitarian Requirements Document (HRD) for 2017. The NDRMC now estimates that approximately 8.5 million people will require assistance between July and December 2017. 

  • Kiremt rainfall has been average or above average in most Meher-dependent areas since early June. Average to above-average rainfall forecast through September will likely be favorable for crop production. However, FAO reports that approximately 22 percent of area planted in maize is infested by Fall Armyworm (FAW), which could impact production. In addition, crops that are planted in the Belg but harvested in the Meher were also affected by an erratic start of season.

  • Maize prices increased significantly across most markets in July, maintaining an unseasonably sharp upward trend observed in recent months. These increases are likely due to a combination of lower than usual market supply into 2017, as well as reduced market supply during the lean season. 

Current Situation

  • Delivery of the fifth round of humanitarian assistance remains delayed in southeastern pastoral areas in Somali Region as of late August 2017, including in four woredas in Dollo and Korahe zones where concerns about extreme acute food insecurity are greatest. According to WFP, the 5th round of emergency food assistance distributions have taken place in three woredas of Dollo Zone, along with 19 other woredas in Somali Region. Delays in assistance distributions are reportedly associated with delays concerning assistance modalities. Meanwhile, nutrition outcomes in Somali Region remain very concerning. The caseload for treatment of severe acute malnutrition in Somali Region was approximately 43,868 admissions between January and June 2017, or approximately one quarter of admissions in all of Ethiopia. Approximately 8,890 admissions occurred in June, the highest since January 2017. Reported SAM cases remain high in Doolo, Jarar, Shabelle, lower Fafan, and parts of Korahe zones, according to the ENCU and UNICEF.
  • Southeastern pastoral areas are currently seasonally dry, following drought over the past year. Livestock from various parts of Somali Region, as well as from Mudug, Bakol, and Somaliland areas of Somalia, are currently concentrated in, Korehe, Jarar, Bokh and Danot of Dollo Zone, and Kelafo riverine areas of Shabele, where some pasture and water is available following rainfall in April and May. In southern pastoral areas in Guji and South Omo, Gu/Genna rains performed better than in southeastern parts of the country. These areas also received unseasonal rains in July 2017. This helped pasture, browse and water sources to regenerate even if at below-normal levels, which has in turn improved livestock body conditions and led to reports of reductions in livestock deaths.  
  • Belg production in 2017 is estimated to be below average, due to the late start of seasonal rainfall and overall below-average rainfall totals, according to field reports and joint partner assessment findings.  Areas where production is reported to be most affected include Segen, Gamogofa, Wolayita, Hadiya, Halaba, and Sidama zones of SNNPR, in East and West Hararghe zones of Oromia, and northeastern parts of Amhara and Southern Tigray. In general, area planted was reported to be much lower than normal, particularly in Oromia and Tigray, and overall Belg production is estimated to be below average. However, compared to other Belg producing parts of the country, North Shewa and Kemisse Zones of Amhara where production is estimated at near-normal levels.
  • Meher production prospects are mostly favorable, although dry spells and Fall Armyworm could result in some crop losses in some areas. In major Kiremt-receiving parts of the country, seasonal rainfall started on time and has been generally well distributed over space and time. Cumulative rainfall totals since June 2017 are average or above average in most areas. Planted crops are developing normally and the forecast average to above-average total cumulative Kiremt rainfall is expected to support crop performance in the upcoming months. As a result, prospects are for average Meher crop production in central and western parts of the country. However, dry spells in June and early July could lead to below-average production in Segen, Gamogofa, Wolayita, Hadiya, Halaba, and Sidama Zones of SNNP Region, as well as in areas of eastern Amhara and southern Tigray. In addition, an estimated 22 percent of maize area planted is infested by Fall Armyworm (FAW), which could result in crop losses in the main maize belts of the country. Moreover, with heavy rainfall forecasted to continue in the coming weeks, flooding could cause damage to crops and houses, as well as loss of life, in some localized areas.
  • Maize meal prices increased significantly across most markets in July, maintaining an unseasonably sharp upward trend observed in recent months. These increases are likely mostly associated with low market supply due to poorer than usual carryover stocks from the previous year and reduced market stocks during the lean season. For example, maize price in July 2017, in Awash, Shinile, and Jijiga markets are 20 to 50 percent above the recent five-year average. Similarly, Ethiopian Grain and Trade Enterprise (EGTE) price data for July 2017 indicate that maize price in Hosanna market of SNNPR has shown an increase of 50.4 and 42.2 percent compared to the same month of last year and last five-year average, respectively. The same price data for maize price in Dire Dawa market in July 2017 shows an increase of 34 percent compared to the recent five-year average.
  • Livestock prices are generally stable in most central, western, and northern local markets, but much lower than usual in most southeastern markets. For example, in Gode and Afder, the July 2017 price of local consumption goats are 20 and 4 percent lower, respectively, than in July 2016, and are 45 and 21 percent lower than the recent five-year average. However, in northern pastoral areas in Afar and in Fafan and Sitti zones of Somali Region, prices are generally better than in previous years. In Awash Fentale and Abala markets, for example, goat prices about 20 percent higher than in July 2016, and 50 and 100 percent higher than the recent three-year average. 

Updated Assumptions

The assumptions used to develop FEWS NET’s most likely scenario for the Ethiopia Food Security Outlook for June 2017 to January 2018 remain unchanged. 

Projected Outlook through January 2018

  • Humanitarian Requirement Document (HRD) for the second half of 2017: On August 8, 2017, the National Disaster Response and Management Commission (NDRMC) released the mid-year review of the Humanitarian Requirements Document (HRD) for 2017. The NDRMC now estimates that approximately 8.5 million people will require assistance between July and December 2017. Moreover, from the total 8.5 million people released by National Disaster Response and Management Commission (NDRMC) in the mid-year review of the humanitarian requirements document (HRD) for 2017, 1.7 million people, accounting for approximately 20 percent the total affected people from Somali region. Of the total annual requirement for the food sector, estimated at USD 1.259 billion, the current gap is estimated at USD 283 million.
  • Large areas of Somali Region, including Dollo, Korahe, Degahabour, and Jarar zones, are expected to remain in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) between now and January 2018. The failure of Deyr 2016 and Gu 2017 seasons has resulted in significant declines in household livestock holdings due to both distress sales and deaths. HEA Outcome Analysis conducted by FEWS NET suggests food consumption gaps will likely be most critical leading into September 2017 as well as between January and March 2018. In addition, the analysis suggests the size of the population in need of assistance is likely much greater than current humanitarian assistance programming. Although delivery of the 5th round of emergency food assistance has reportedly taken place in three of seven woredas of Dollo Zone and in select woredas elsewhere in Somali Region, an immediate and sustained resumption of assistance is needed to prevent households from facing more extreme outcomes. As food consumption gaps widen, levels of acute malnutrition and mortality may rise further. Areas of greatest concern include Dollo, Korahe, Degahabour, and Jarar zones.
  • Parts of southern Tigray and northern Amhara, along with much of eastern SNNPR, far southern Oromia, and eastern Oromia are expected to be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) through September 2017. Meher harvests in many areas, along with improvements in livestock conditions in southern pastoral areas, is likely to lead to improvements in food security. Between October 2017 and January 2018, most of these areas will improved to Minimal (IPC Phase 1) or Stressed (IPC Phase 2) acute food insecurity.
  • In Afar, parts of Sitti and Fafan zones of Somali region, eastern Amhara, Rift Valley areas of SNNPR, and Central Oromia, poor and very poor households will only be able to meet their minimum food needs, but will not be able to meet their livelihoods protection needs without resorting to unsustainable coping. Most of these areas will continued to be Stressed (IPC Phase 2) through January 2018. 

About this Update

This monthly report covers current conditions as well as changes to the projected outlook for food insecurity in this country. It updates FEWS NET’s quarterly Food Security Outlook. Learn more about our work 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 some 34 countries. Implementing team members include NASA, NOAA, USDA, and USGS, along with Chemonics International Inc. and Kimetrica. Read more about our work.