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 in a country where over 5 million people are in need.
Kelley Lynch

Latest Horn of Africa Fact Sheet

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Key Developments

USAID's Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) is responding to the complex emergency in the Horn of Africa region, including in EthiopiaKenya, and Somalia.

On August 7, the Government of Ethiopia (GoE) the UN released the Mid-Year Review of the 2017 Humanitarian Requirements Document (HRD) for Ethiopia, identifying an estimated 8.5 million people in need of emergency food assistance through December 2017—a 9 percent increase from the 7.8 million people identified in April. The revised HRD is also targeting approximately 3.6 million children and pregnant and lactating women for prevention and treatment of moderate acute malnutrition (MAM) and 375,000 children for prevention and treatment of severe acute malnutrition (SAM) in 2017—significant increases from the estimated 2.7 million MAM cases and 303,000 SAM cases targeted in the initial 2017 HRD, released in January. The revised appeal outlines nearly $488 million in additional funding required to meet urgent humanitarian needs in Ethiopia from August–December 2017.

On August 30, USAID Administrator Mark A. Green announced nearly $91 million in new U.S. government (USG) humanitarian assistance to support critical relief interventions in Ethiopia. The total includes nearly $19 million from USAID's Office of U.S. Foreign Disasters Assistance to bolster humanitarian coordination and meet the health; nutrition; and water, sanitation, and hygiene needs of drought-affected households and nearly $72 million from USAID's Office of Food for Peace for emergency food and nutrition assistance. The new funding brings total USG humanitarian assistance for Ethiopia to nearly $454 million to date in FY 2017.

Please visit our Horn of Africa web page for additional information.


Ethiopia is currently experiencing its second severe drought in less than two years. Insufficient rainfall during the first half of 2017 has led to severe water shortages, catastrophic livestock losses, and failed crops. This drought in southern Ethiopia comes as the country’s north and central highland communities are still struggling to recover from a severe drought in 2016 that was triggered by multiple consecutive seasons of below-normal rainfall and the effects of the 2015/2016 El Niño.

In response to the 2916 drought, USAID activated a Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) and Washington, D.C.,-based Response Management Team (RMT) in March 2016; the DART and RMT stood down in November 2016 as humanitarian conditions improved. In

April 2017, the Government of Ethiopia estimated that 7.8 million people will require humanitarian assistance in Ethiopia through December, primarily due to newer drought-related needs in southern and southeastern parts of the country.

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

Last updated: September 01, 2017

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