Food Assistance Fact Sheet - Ethiopia

January 4, 2017

Food Security Situation 

Map of Ethiopia
CIA World Factbook
  • As of early December 2016, southeastern pastoral areas of Ethiopia have received below-average seasonal rainfall due to the negative Indian Ocean Dipole, leading to new drought conditions. This climate phenomenon continues to impact water availability, livestock body conditions and the meher harvest for these areas. 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. Atypical livestock migration and deaths have been reported in Oromiya and Somali Regions, and livestock births and conception will likely remain below average into 2017. Countrywide, the number of people experiencing Crisis—IPC Phase 3—or higher levels of food insecurity will remain high through May 2017, but likely at lower levels than in 2016. Expected near-average meher harvests in western and northwestern Ethiopia will also facilitate normal food access for households in these areas and likely maintain Minimal (IPC Phase 1) levels of acute food insecurity.

  • The Joint Humanitarian Partners and Government of Ethiopia Humanitarian Requirements Document (HRD) Mid-Year 2016 Review from August 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. Numbers will be updated in the 2017 HRD, which is expected in January, following the conclusion of the 2016 meher seasonal assessment in early December.
  • 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. According to the UN, the average number of refugee arrivals from South Sudan into Ethiopia has decreased from approximately 1,000 refugees per day as of early September to approximately 630 refugees per day. As of November, the total number of refugees and asylum seekers in Ethiopia is more than 780,000, 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), the Office of Food for Peace (FFP) targets food insecure Ethiopians with long-term development interventions through the PSNP to reduce chronic food insecurity. PSNP is also 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 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 contributes to meeting the basic energy requirements of refugees. In addition, FFP provides 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 2017

$31.0 million 39,150 MT
Fiscal Year 2016

$515.6 million

796,964 MT
Fiscal Year 2015 $241.3 million 328,150 MT

Fiscal Year 2017 Contribution Breakdown:

  U.S. Dollars Metric Tons
Title II Development* ---- ----
Title II Emergency $31.0 million 39,150 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

Public Consultation Notes on Notice of Intent to Issue Multi-Year Annual Program Statement for a Rapid Response Nutrition and WASH Program

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

Notice of Intent to Issue Multi-Year Annual Program Statement for a Rapid Response Nutrition and WASH Program in Ethiopia


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

Last updated: February 03, 2017

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