Ethiopia – Drought, internal conflict and displacement (DG ECHO, IOM DTM, FewsNet, WFP, local media) (ECHO Daily Flash of 19 February 2018)
- The South and South-East of Ethiopia are affected by serious drought due to the fourth consecutive failed rainy season. The performance of the spring rains is expected to be below normal while agro-pastoralist and pastoralist households have already largely lost their livelihoods due to previous droughts. Several zones in the south of Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ (SNNP), Oromia and Somali regions are considered to be in Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) phase 3 (crisis) or 4 (emergency). Without substantial humanitarian assistance, the situation is expected to worsen in many areas. Overall, over eight million Ethiopians are expected to be in need of emergency assistance in 2018.
- The conflict between Oromia and Somali regions, which flared up in September 2017 following the end of the state of emergency, has led to the internal displacement of over one million Ethiopians. In Oromia and Somali regions, there are nearly 400 formal and informal IDPs sites. Conflict and displacements are taking place in areas already affected by the recurrent drought.
- While the government is taking the lead in addressing the forced displacement crisis, the scale of the needs requires additional support from the humanitarian community. However, the highly political nature of the conflict and the limited overall humanitarian space in Ethiopia continue to create substantial challenges for humanitarian actors to provide assistance while respecting humanitarian principles.
- In the meantime, social and political protests and unrest in Ethiopia continue despite the recent release of several imprisoned opposition figures by the government. On 11 February, a humanitarian convoy with 260 metric tons of food was stopped in Oromia, outside Harar town, and set on fire by protesters. Six people were reportedly killed and 20 injured (including police) when security forces intervened. On the 16 February, a state of emergency was declared again for six months. It was also in place between October 2016 and August 2017.
- DG ECHO is responding to the acute humanitarian needs and is advocating for the scaling-up of assistance.
- In addition to the IDPs, Ethiopia is hosting 901 235 registered refugees, including 428 928 from South Sudan.