Ethiopia Water
In Ethiopia, women and girls may have to walk hours or days to find clean drinking water for their households. USAID rehabilitates water points, supplying life-saving access to clean drinking water to drought-affected households.
Kelley Lynch

Key Developments

Locust infestations continue to devour crops and vegetation in Ethiopia, consuming an average of 1,755,000 metric tons every day.USAID is responding and is working with partners and local officials to help control and prevent these pests from spreading.

In addition, the United States remains the largest humanitarian donor to Ethiopia, providing nearly $496 million in FY 2019 support for relief efforts in the country.

Since the Government of Ethiopia started helping internally displaced persons (IDPs) return to their areas of origin in early May, some IDPs have again relocated because of destroyed housing, disrupted livelihoods, limited humanitarian assistance, and ongoing conflict-related risks. As of July, approximately 1.6 million people remained displaced across Ethiopia, a reduction of nearly 600,000 IDPs since May.


Ethiopia is experiencing its second severe drought in less than two years. Insufficient rainfall during the 2017 rainy season has led to severe water shortages, catastrophic livestock losses, and failed crops throughout the country. The drought in southern Ethiopia comes as the country’s north and central highland communities continue to recover from a severe drought in 2016 triggered by multiple consecutive seasons of below-average rainfall and the effects of the 2015/2016 El Niño climatic event. In August 2017, the Government of Ethiopia estimated that 8.5 million people in the country would require humanitarian assistance through December, primarily due to increased drought-related needs in southern and southeastern parts of Ethiopia.

In addition to drought, populations across Ethiopia face other challenges that contribute to sustained humanitarian needs and an ongoing complex emergency—including above-average food prices, disease outbreaks, localized intercommunal conflict, seasonal flooding, and limited access to health and water, sanitation, and hygiene services.


Last updated: November 21, 2019

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