Food Assistance Fact Sheet - Ethiopia

October 25, 2016

Food Security Situation 

Map of Ethiopia
CIA World Factbook
  • Multiple consecutive failed rainy seasons and drought induced by the 2015/2016 El Niño climatic event deteriorated humanitarian conditions across Ethiopia throughout 2016. Beginning in October 2016, average meher harvests are expected to result in improvements in food security across much of Ethiopia, resulting in a substantial reduction in the number of people facing acute food insecurity through January 2017. However, areas of southern and southeastern Ethiopia will likely receive below-average seasonal rainfall from October--December, limiting crop production and the regeneration of pastoral resrouces and reducing access to food and livestock-related livelihood sources. Food security in these regions is likely to deteriorate further between January and the peak of the July--September lean season in 2017 due to prolonged recovery periods in pastoral areas and poor seasonal yields.

  • The Joint Humanitarian Partners and Government of Ethiopia (GoE) Humanitarian Requirements Document (HRD) Mid-Year 2016 Review identified 9.7 million people as in need of relief food assistance. This is in addition to the nearly 8 million people who are chronically food insecure and covered by the GoE-led Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP), supported by USAID and the donor community. The mid-year HRD also targets nearly 2.8 million children and pregnant and lactating women for treatment of moderate or severe acute malnutrition and 3.9 million for water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) interventions.
  • In addition, the lack of humanitarian access in Somalia and conflict in Sudan, South Sudan, and Eritrea has resulted in an influx of refugees into Ethiopia. Since September 2016, over 30,000 refugees from South Sudan have entered Ethiopia. As of this writing, the total number of refugees and asylum seekers in Ethiopia is more than 743,000, making Ethiopia the largest refugee hosting country in Africa.

Food Assistance Programs

  • For 2016, in partnership with Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Food for the Hungry (FH), Relief Society of Tigray (REST), and Save the Children, International (SCI), Office of Food for Peace (FFP) targets food insecure Ethiopians with long-term development interventions through the PSNP to reduce chronic food insecurity. The PSNP is the first line of response for targeted areas in any food security crisis. The PSNP addresses the basic food needs of approximately 8 million chronically food insecure people through the predictable seasonal transfer of food and cash resources, as well as the creation of assets that generate economic benefit to the community as a whole. 

  • FFP partners with the UN World Food Program (WFP) and CRS to provide relief food assistance that saves lives and reduces human suffering of those affected by climatic and other shocks, as well as meeting the basic nutrition requirements of refugees from Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, and Eritrea. In addition, FFP provideds specialized nutrition commodities for the treatment of acute malnutrition to WFP, UNICEF and the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance's partners.

Total Contributions:

  U.S. Dollars Metric Tons
Fiscal Year 2016* $508.9 million 796,964 MT
Fiscal Year 2015

$241.3 million

228,570 MT
Fiscal Year 2014 $218.1 million 271,120 MT
Fiscal Year 2013 $235.7 million 274,770 MT
Fiscal Year 2012 $306.6 million 365,400 MT

Fiscal Year 2016 Contribution Breakdown:

  U.S. Dollars Metric Tons
Title II Development* $125.4 million 116,200 MT
Title II Emergency $383.5 million 680,764 MT
Emergency Food Security Program (EFSP) ---- ----

*FFP's PSNP contributions are forward-funded; development resources of up to $110 million were provided in Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 for PSNP implementation in FY 2017. 

Food Security Situation Information provided by Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET); Nutrition information provided by WFP; Refugee information provided by UNHCR.

The Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) is a standardized tool that aims to classify the magnitude and severity of food insecurity. The IPC scale, which is comparable across countries, ranges from Minimal--IPC 1-- to Famine--IPC 5. 

Related Resources

Final Ethiopia FY 2016 Country Specific Information

Ethiopia Country Development Cooperation Strategy 2011-2015

Climate Variability and Change in Ethiopia - Summary Findings

Ethiopia Bellmon Analysis 2015/16 and Reassessment of Crop Production and Marketing for 2014/15

Food Security Country Framework - Ethiopia

Productive Safety Net Program Phase IV Program Implementation Manual

Productive Safety Net Program Phase IV - Capacity Development Strategy

Examples of Collaboration Indicators for Ethiopia DFAP Applicants – RISE Workshop

Feed the Future Ethiopia Fact Sheet

(Re)assessing the Relationship Between Food Aid and Armed Conflict [PDF, 171 KB]

Last updated: October 25, 2016

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