Number of Ethiopians in need of emergency food assistance increases


The number of people that will require emergency food assistance is expected to increase according to the National Disaster Risk Commission. An assessment is done every six months to get data on the number of people affected by the drought and recent assessments show that the number has increased from the previous 7.8 million people.
“There has been a Belg rain season assessment and from that we have seen that the number has increased again. The Ethiopian government is carrying out different activities to address the issue,” said Ayderus Hassan, Director of Supply and Logistics at the National Disaster Risk Commission.
Around 70 percent of the millions affected by the drought are located in the Somali Region and lowland areas of the South Nations Nationalities and Peoples Region and the Oromia Region.
“Those affected in the Somali Region are currently completely supported by the World Food Organization while other affected regions are supported by the Ethiopian government. The Kiremt rains have been adequate and metrology forecasts indicate that they will continue to be good, we expect that to decrease the number of people needing food assistance,” Ayderus said.
He further pointed out that, since there have been many emergencies worldwide, it has been a challenge to get the needed financial aid to address the situation.
“The number of countries that are in a state of emergency have increased and so the funds we have gotten from donors is not as expected, but the government is covering that gap and will continue to do so,” Ayderus also said.
Persistent drought that most parts of Ethiopia have experienced since 2015 have a severe impact that lasts a long time. It can take 2 to 10 years for agrarian and pastoralist families to recover. Regardless of successful rains, the drought will continue to affect the lives of children and their families in food security, health, nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene.