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

Latest Ethiopia Fact Sheet

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Key Developments

Since early May, the Government of Ethiopia (GoE) has returned many internally displaced persons to areas of origin. However, many returnees are unable to return to original locations due to destruction of housing and disrupted livelihoods, as well as ongoing security concerns, prompting some to relocate to new or previous areas of displacement according to humanitarian partners.

Poor March-to-May rains throughout southern pastoral areas, including much of Oromiya and Somali regions, have limited pasture regeneration, livestock productivity, and livelihood opportunities. Late onset and irregular February-to-May seasonal precipitation in rainfed agricultural areas will likely contribute to below-average seasonal harvests in central and north-central Ethiopia.

The $1.0 billion international donor contribution to the 2019 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) was 34 percent funded as of August 19, according to the UN. The GoE has contributed its planned $288.1 million toward the $1.3 billion HRP funding request.


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: August 22, 2019

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