Ethiopia Complex Emergency Fact Sheet #13 FY2016

June 22, 2016

Acute watery diarrhea cases confirmed in Addis Ababa

USAID DART visits health and nutrition programs in Somali Region

GoE, relief actors initiate logistics improvements

Numbers At A Glance

10.2 million

People Requiring Relief Food Assistance

3.0 million

Projected Population Experiencing MAM or SAM in 2016

5.8 million

People Lacking Adequate WASH Access

$1.5 billion

Funding Required to Address Critical Needs Between January and December 2016


Humanitarian Funding

For the Ethiopia Response
FY 2015 - 2016

USAID/OFDA $64,884,683
USAID/FFP $527,251,657
State/PRM $113,652,196
TOTAL $705,788,536

In early June, Government of Ethiopia (GoE) health authorities confirmed the first acute watery diarrhea cases in the capital city of Addis Ababa since January 2016. To date, cases have been concentrated in Oromiya, Somali, and Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples (SNNP) regions since the outbreak began in December 2015. The GoE and relief actors—including USAID partners—are coordinating acute watery diarrhea response activities in the city.

Heavy seasonal rains and flooding prompted the displacement of nearly 33,200 households from Afar, Oromiya, and SNNP regions in May, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM). Relief actors are coordinating the distribution of essential household items to flood-affected internally displaced persons (IDPs).

The USAID Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) traveled to Somali Region’s Fafan Zone in mid-June to monitor USAID/OFDA-supported health and nutrition interventions for drought-affected households in the region.

The annual belg assessment—which the GoE and relief actors launched on June 5 to evaluate seasonal impacts of the February-to-June belg rains and related humanitarian needs—remains underway in Afar, Amhara, Oromiya, SNNP, Somali, and Tigray regions. Assessment teams plan to complete data collection, conduct regional-level meetings, and finalize results by late June, according to GoE representatives. Subsequent revisions to the 2016 Humanitarian Requirements Document (HRD), which outlines humanitarian needs and funding requirements through the end of the year, are expected to commence following the release of belg assessment findings. The GoE and UN expect to launch the revised appeal by mid-July.

Heavy rainfall and flooding displaced a total of 296,000 individuals, or approximately 54,100 households, across seven regions in April and May, including an estimated 177,000 people newly displaced in May, according to IOM. As of May 31, more than 23,200 households, or approximately 43 percent of households displaced by flooding since late March, had returned to their areas of origin due to receding water levels. Members of the Shelter and Non-Food Item (NFI) Cluster—the coordinating body for humanitarian shelter and NFI activities, comprising UN agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and other stakeholders—have begun assembly of relief item kits procured by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) to support households who remain displaced. The GoE National Disaster Risk Management Commission (NDRMC) and the UN World Food Program (WFP) began assembly of an estimated 30,000 household kits during the week of June 13 and plan to distribute 12,600 kits to flood-affected households in Somali. Relief actors will distribute the remaining kits to other flood-affected regions.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association reports a 75 percent probability that a La Niña climatic event will develop by the end of 2016. A weak-to-moderate La Niña is projected to bring reduced rainfall to the Horn of Africa, including in southern and eastern Ethiopia, between late 2016 and early 2017, although the severity of the climatic event will become clearer in the coming months.

As of June 15, the GoE and relief actors—including WFP and the USAID-supported, Catholic Relief Services (CRS)-led Joint Emergency Operation (JEOP)—had dispatched approximately 97 percent and distributed 68 percent of the third round of 2016 relief food assistance. The third round, which began on March 31, consists of an estimated 172,000 metric tons (MT) of cereals, pulses, and cooking oil for approximately 10.2 million people. According to the UN, the GoE and relief organizations had also dispatched an estimated 67 percent and distributed 27 percent of the approximately 180,000 MT allocated for the fourth round of relief food assistance, which began in early May. In addition, WFP reports that the fifth round of relief food assistance commenced on June 15. Although logistics constraints continue to delay the timely delivery of relief food assistance, GoE–WFP relief food interventions are assisting an estimated 7.6 million drought-affected people, and the JEOP is reaching the remaining 2.6 million out of 10.2 million food-insecure beneficiaries outlined in the 2016 HRD.

WFP had delivered 23 percent of targeted supplementary feeding (TSF) rations intended for June distribution to vulnerable children younger than five years of age and pregnant and lactating women as of June 15. WFP supports TSF interventions for children and women experiencing moderate acute malnutrition (MAM) in more than 95 percent of the 219 priority one hostpot woredas, or districts, with the GoE and NGOs covering the remaining districts. Hotspot districts are a classification of districts most in need of humanitarian assistance based on the impact of food availability, water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) infrastructure; access to markets; the nutrition situation; and other contributing factors. In May, relief actors distributed 100 percent of TSF intended for WFP-covered districts in Afar, but districts in Amhara and Oromiya received an average of less than 30 percent of TSF intended for the month of May. Overall, nearly 490,100 people—or approximately 76 percent of intended beneficiaries—received TSF rations in May, according to WFP.

Delays in GoE-contracted transport of nutrition commodities to targeted districts persist, although transport times have improved significantly to date in June. To improve distribution of TSF in communities, WFP plans to train mobile health and nutrition teams in Afar by the end of June. Additionally, WFP and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) plan to conduct a monitoring visit in Tigray on June 21 to assess implementation of the joint nutrition response plan ahead of a formal evaluation scheduled for mid-August.

As of early June, the JEOP, which aims to provide relief food assistance to approximately 2.6 million drought-affected people, agreed to a one-round increase in its caseload during fourth round distributions due to ad hoc requests from regional GoE authorities to expand distributions; the fourth round of JEOP relief food assistance aims to reach more than 2.94 million beneficiaries. JEOP targets food-insecure households in 76 districts during each monthly round of relief food assistance. Following the transport of in-kind food supplies from the Port of Djibouti into Ethiopia, relief organizations facilitate in-country JEOP activities from four primary distribution points in the cities of Dire Dawa, Kombolcha, Mekele, and Nazareth. CRS reports that berthing access for JEOP shipments at the Port of Djibouti has improved in recent months due to strong advocacy from relief organizations and prioritization of vessels carrying humanitarian cargo, with ships offloading commodities within 8–17 days on average.

Alongside the NDRMC, WFP is recruiting additional staff to strengthen logistics capacity for food storage and distribution in Ethiopia. WFP is also working to expand storage space and improve warehouse management systems at primary distribution hubs. Mobile teams are currently deployed across the country mapping existing storage facilities, outstanding warehouse needs, and alternative storage options. To date, members of the Logistics Cluster have also constructed 12 mobile storage units at the warehouse in Nazareth and 10 additional mobile storage units in Gambella and Oromiya regions. Further, the GoE has hired additional storekeepers to staff storage units throughout the country and deployed a logistics expert to support supply chain management to expedite the dispatch and delivery of food and other relief items to people in need.

A mid-May livelihood assessment conducted by the USAID-funded Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) revealed that drought conditions in all nine assessed districts of Afar, Amhara, and Oromiya have diminished livestock ploughing capacity and hampered ongoing land preparation for the meher planting season. In Afar, overall conditions of small livestock, such as goats, have improved due to pasture and water regeneration resulting from increased rainfall in April and May. However, FEWS NET reports that cattle conditions remain below average given residual effects of the limited 2015 harvest and the greater pasture needs of large livestock.

Households reported that emergency seed assistance remains a key need in agricultural areas of Amhara’s Wag Himra Zone and agro-pastoral areas of Oromiya’s East and West Hararghe zones. Although more than 90 percent of required emergency seed interventions have been funded by the GoE and international donors, logistics constraints continue to delay the distribution of seeds at the district level.

Drought-related impacts on livelihood opportunities and available resources—such as income from crop and livestock sales, self-employment, and agricultural and pastoral labor—have resulted in food consumption gaps for lower-income households, despite the ongoing and critical delivery of relief food and Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP) assistance by the GoE and relief actors. FEWS NET reports that households in surveyed areas primarily rely on in-kind food assistance and cash resources to access food supplies, underscoring the need to maintain regular and adequate humanitarian assistance programs to sustain vulnerable populations through the end of the lean season and start of the meher harvest in October.

During the week of June 5, the Ethiopian Public Health Institute (EPHI) confirmed the first cases of acute watery diarrhea in Ethiopia’s capital city of Addis Ababa since January. Health authorities have confirmed approximately 2,145 suspected acute watery diarrhea cases nationwide since December 2015. The outbreak had been concentrated in Oromiya, SNNP, and Somali until June, although no new acute watery diarrhea cases have emerged in SNNP for at least eight consecutive weeks.

Health actors—including GoE health authorities, UN agencies, and NGOs—are implementing acute watery diarrhea response activities to contain the outbreak. Rapid response teams are working to improve surveillance, public health messaging, and WASH practices in the city, as well as providing surge support to treatment centers in each of Addis Ababa’s 10 sub-cities. USAID/OFDA partner UNICEF is bolstering the acute watery diarrhea response through the testing and disinfection of household and communal water sources and distribution of water treatment supplies and hygiene items. With support from community leaders, health extension workers, and schools, UNICEF also recently distributed an estimated 17,000 health promotion and hygiene awareness leaflets to households across affected areas of Ethiopia, including Addis Ababa, Oromiya, and Somali.

From June 13–15, the DART visited Somali’s Fafan Zone to meet with the Regional Health Bureau and community leaders and evaluate USAID/OFDA-supported health and nutrition interventions implemented by Save the Children/U.S. (SC/US) and UNICEF. In Fafan’s Aw-bare District—a priority one hotspot district—USAID/OFDA and SC/US are supporting 12 static health facilities and five outreach sites operated by mobile health and nutrition teams. In addition, SC/US has established 12 outpatient therapeutic program sites, five mobile outreach sites, and two therapeutic feeding units in Dherwanije District, Fafan. With USAID/OFDA support, SC/US has also organized at least seven mother-to-mother support groups and provided health extension workers trainings on severe acute malnutrition (SAM), community-based management of acute malnutrition, and infant and young child feeding practices and social mobilization committees. UNICEF mobile health and nutrition teams are covering six communities lacking static health facilities and conducting MAM and SAM screenings in Fafan’s Kabribayah District, although the DART noted several issues regarding the quality of screening and reporting of MAM and SAM cases. UNICEF is working to increase program monitoring and support to health extension workers to improve reporting and quality of service delivery.

Multiple consecutive seasons of below-normal rainfall and the current effects of the El Niño climatic event have resulted in deteriorating agricultural, livestock, food security, and nutrition conditions in northeastern and central Ethiopia. By December 2015, the GoE estimated that 10.2 million people required relief food assistance and other humanitarian interventions during 2016.

USAID activated a DART on February 24, 2016, to lead the USG crisis response to the drought in Ethiopia. In support of the GoE, the DART is coordinating USG response activities in close partnership with the UN and other relief organizations. The DART—composed of humanitarian specialists based in Ethiopia—is addressing critical needs and examining ways to realign activities to respond to urgent assistance gaps. USAID also established an Ethiopia Drought Response Management Team (RMT) based in Washington, D.C., to support emergency response efforts in Ethiopia.

While drought remains a major contributor to vulnerability in Ethiopia, negatively affecting the lives and livelihoods of farmers and pastoralists, populations also continue to confront other challenges—including seasonal flooding, localized intercommunal conflict, above-average food prices, disease outbreaks, and limited access to health and WASH services—that contribute to sustained humanitarian needs and an ongoing complex emergency in Ethiopia.

On October 7, 2015, U.S. Chargé d’Affaires, a.i., Peter H. Vrooman re-declared a disaster for Ethiopia in response to the ongoing complex emergency.

The most effective way people can assist relief efforts is by making cash contributions to humanitarian organizations that are conducting relief operations. A list of humanitarian organizations that are accepting cash donations for disaster responses around the world can be found at

USAID encourages cash donations because they allow aid professionals to procure the exact items needed (often in the affected region); reduce the burden on scarce resources (such as transportation routes, staff time, and warehouse space); can be transferred very quickly and without transportation costs; support the economy of the disaster-stricken region; and ensure culturally, dietary, and environmentally appropriate assistance.

More information can be found at:
- USAID Center for International Disaster Information: or +1.202.821.1999.
- Information on relief activities of the humanitarian community can be found at

Ethiopia FY2106 Fact Sheets

Last updated: August 19, 2016

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