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Ethiopia: Food Security Outlook Update – December 2016

Pastoral conditions deteriorate following very poor seasonal performance in southeastern areas


20123101-food-ethiopia_main2Food security outcomes have improved in many areas of Ethiopia as Meher harvests have improved household food access. However, emergency food assistance needs will remain high as poor seasonal rainfall in southern and southeastern pastoral areas and lowland cropping areas of eastern and central Oromia and Rift Valley areas of SNNPR lead to Crisis (IPC Phase 3) acute food insecurity through May 2017, or Stressed (IPC Phase 2!) in the presence of emergency assistance.

Deyr/Hageya seasonal rainfall between October and December 2016 was very late and significantly below average across most of southern and southeastern Ethiopia. Livestock body conditions have started to decline, leading to low livestock productivity, decreasing livestock prices, and below-average terms of trade for poor households. In riverine agricultural areas, crop production was also significantly affected.

Three separate analyses conducted by USGS and NOAA suggest March to May 2017 Gu/Genna rainfall is likely to be below average in south and southeastern areas of the country. Although pasture and water sources may temporarily improve, a combination of reduced livestock production during the dry season and early exhaustion of pasture and water sources constrain access to food and income from livestock and livestock products.

Fieldwork by the government-led multi-agency Meher seasonal assessment has recently completed. Assistance needs are likely to remain high in 2017 due to belowaverage Kiremt rainfall in some lowland areas of Oromia, SNNPR, and eastern Amhara, well below average Deyr/Hegaya rainfall and prospects for a below average Gu/Genna season in 2017 in southern and southeastern pastoral areas. Official estimates of the number of people in need of emergency assistance between January and June 2017 are expected to be released in the Humanitarian Resources Document in January 2017.

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