The number of Ethiopians in need of relief food aid surged by to 7.5 million, according to the latest assessment released today.

This is the second revision since March 2015 when the Joint Government and Humanitarian Partners’ Document projected 3.3 million relief food beneficiaries – a little higher the 2.9 million annual projection.Figure 1. Below-average vegetation conditions, August 2015, Ethiopia

Last August, the figure was revised to 4.5 million following the failed spring belg (February-May) rains.

The latest assessment showed that the El Niño induced weak summer kiremt (June-September) rains that feed 80 per cent of the population has compounded the problem. Thus, raising the number of people in urgent need of relief aid by 66%.

According to the UN Humannitarioan agency, the food insecurity, malnutrition and devastated livelihoods was exacerbated “across six affected regions of the country.” Adding that, “the level of acute need across virtually all humanitarian sectors has already exceeded levels seen in the Horn of Africa drought of 2011 and is projected to be far more severe throughout an 8-month period in 2016”.

The report also indicated that “more than 3 million school-age children in 198 woredas are already affected, which is a dramatic increase from the 201,682 children (111,912 boys and 89,770 girls) expected to require emergency education support during the remainder of 2015”.

Donors are urged to step up support as the cost of providing urgent food and non-food needs for the remainder of 2015 is estimated $174 million, while another $237 million is needed for the first quarter of 2016.


Daniel Berhane

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