3 February 2016

Ethiopia: Food Assistance Fact Sheet

Photo: USAID / Kelly Lynch
The United Sttes is dispatching a Disaster Assistance Response Team to Ethiopia to help avert a crisis triggered by El Niño

Food Security Situation 

  • Multiple consecutive seasons of below-normal rainfall – in part due to El Niño – have led to the worst drought in more than 50 years across the northeastern and central parts of the country. Low crop production, poor livestock health, and water shortages have all contributed to the deteriorating food security situation and severe humanitarian crisis.
  • Between January and March 2016, large populations in the eastern part of the country will likely experience very significant food consumption gaps. In the pastoral areas of Afar and Somali Region and the agricultural lowlands of East and West Haraghe Zones, households will be in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) levels of food insecurity. These numbers will continue to rise with food assistance needs peaking during the July to September lean season.
  • The projected level of relief food assistance for 2016 is 10.2 million people, according to the Government of Ethiopia (GoE). This is in addition to the 7.9 million people covered by the GoE-led Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP), supported by USAID and the donor community. By early 2016, the GoE and humanitarian community anticipate that up to 435,000 children under five will need treatment for severe acute malnutrition (SAM) and that at least 1.7 million children, pregnant and lactating women will require specialized nutritional support, with estimates as high as 2.2 million from UN World Food Program (WFP).  
  • In addition, the lack of humanitarian access in Somalia and conflict in Sudan, South Sudan, and Eritrea has resulted in an influx of refugees into Ethiopia. As of this writing, the total number of refugees and asylum seekers in Ethiopia is more than 733,000.

Food Assistance Programs

  • In partnership with Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Food for the Hungry (FH), Relief Society of Tigray (REST), and Save the Children, International (SCI), Office of Food for Peace (FFP) targets food insecure Ethiopians with long-term development interventions through the PSNP to reduce chronic food insecurity. PSNP is the first line of response in any food security crisis. PSNP addresses the basic food needs of approximately 8 million chronically food insecure people through the predictable seasonal transfer of food and cash resources, as well as the creation of assets that generate economic benefit to the community as a whole. 
  • FFP partners with the WFP and CRS to provide relief food assistance that saves lives and reduces human suffering of those affected by climatic and other shocks, as well as meeting the basic nutrition requirements of refugees from Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, and Eritrea. 

Total Contributions:

Fiscal Year 2016    $267.3 million    446,920 MT
Fiscal Year 2015    $174.3 million    228,570 MT
Fiscal Year 2014    $218.1 million    271,120 MT
Fiscal Year 2013    $235.7 million    274,770 MT
Fiscal Year 2012    $306.6 million    365,400 MT

Fiscal Year 2016 Contribution: Title II Emergency      $267.3 million 446,920 MT

Food Security Situation Information provided by WFP, UNHCR, FAO and UNICEF as of January 2016.

*FFP FY 2016 funding is to date as of February 3, 2016.

Related Resources

Draft Ethiopia FY 2016 Country Specific Information

Ethiopia Country Development Cooperation Strategy 2011-2015

Climate Variability and Change in Ethiopia - Summary Findings

Ethiopia Bellmon Analysis 2015/16 and Reassessment of Crop Production and Marketing for 2014/15

Food Security Country Framework - Ethiopia

Productive Safety Net Program Phase IV Program Implementation Manual

Productive Safety Net Program Phase IV - Capacity Development Strategy

Feed the Future Ethiopia Fact Sheet

(Re)assessing the Relationship Between Food Aid and Armed Conflict [PDF, 171 KB]


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