Capital Ethiopia Newspaper

Somali Region continues to be epicenter of drought, according to WFP

A recent report from the World Food Program shows that 7.88 million people in Ethiopia will require food assistance in 2018 and the Somali Region remains to be the epicenter of the drought, with an estimated 1.8 million people in need of lifesaving food assistance.
The update report states that there are an estimated 1.7 million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Ethiopia, of which, an estimated 461,000 conflict induced IDPs are in the Somali Region.
Currently, the WFP is providing emergency relief assistance to the Somali Region while the government of Ethiopia and the joint Emergency Operation Program an NGO consortium provide relief assistance to the rest of the country.
According to the report, the 1.7 million IDPs in the Somalia Region was driven by factors ranging from conflict, environmental degradation, natural and manmade disasters, changing livelihood strategies in an evolving political economy, poverty, and progressive depletion of coping mechanisms available to the displaced and host communities.
It further states that below-average spring rains, combined with extremely low household livestock holdings, suggest the ongoing food security situation in south-eastern Ethiopia will continue through most of 2018. Sustained, large-scale assistance is needed to mitigate the risk of increases in acute malnutrition and a further deterioration of outcomes, particularly in the Somali Region.
Currently, WFP’s emergency relief assistance in the Somali Region comprises of a combination of food and cash based modalities, depending on system readiness, nutritional needs and where markets function. The report also states that the re-targeting and registration of beneficiaries that will receive cash and/or food transfers under the 2018 HDRP is ongoing.
According to the Humanitarian Disaster resilience Plan released in March by the Ethiopian government and humanitarian partners, most of the 2017 humanitarian needs are carried over into 2018 given insufficient recovery opportunities, compounded by the underperformance of the 2017 autumn rains; the prevalence of risk factors for communicable disease outbreaks such as AWD and measles; as well as large scale displacement due to drought and conflict.
The appeal seeks USD 1.66 billion to reach 7.88 million people with emergency food/cash and non-food assistance, mainly in the southern and south-eastern parts of the country. Due to many other humanitarian crisis around the world, meeting the needed funding will be a challenge, it has been said.