UNICEF Ethiopia Humanitarian Situation Report #10

UNICEF Ethiopia Humanitarian Situation Report #10 – Reporting Period: 21 June – 5 July 2017

UNICEF Ethiopia

Highlights

  • Acute watery diarrhoea (AWD) continues to be reported in Amhara, Oromia and Somali regions although with a decreasing incidence rate.
  • The National Disaster Risk Management Commission (NDRMC) issued its first Flood Alert of 2017 on 26 June identifying woredas in 43 zones and three towns that are at risk of flooding. The Alert identified specific flood risks according to region and recommended preparedness actions including prepositioning of food and non-food items, disease surveillance among other measures.
  • Since January 2017, mobile health and nutrition teams (MHNTs) deployed by the Afar and Somali Regional Health Bureaus, with UNICEF support, have provided 194,062 people with medical services and treatment. Of these, 78,022 (40 per cent) are children under five years of age.
  • UNICEF supported the rehabilitation and maintenance of 23 water supply systems in Oromia and Somali regions, providing 59,000 people with access to safe water.
  • There is likely to be an increase in people facing critical food shortages from the end of July 2017 onwards due to a projected food pipeline break. This comes at a time when the country moves into the July to September lean season.

Situation Overview and Humanitarian Needs

At least 7.8 million people could face critical food shortages from the end of July 2017 onwards due to a projected food pipeline break. This comes at a time when the country moves into the lean season (July to September) and when the southern and south-eastern regions of the country, already affected by drought, are reporting increasing malnutrition rates. Preliminary findings from the Belg assessment also indicate that there is likely to be an increase in the number of people requiring food assistance for the remainder of the year.

Although water availability has improved in many parts of the country following seasonal rains, the rains were not adequate to replenish water sources in the pastoral and lowland areas of southern and south-eastern parts of the country, and water scarcity remains a challenge. Data from the recent multi-agency Belg assessment indicates that there is still need for emergency water supply, particularly in Somali and Afar regions and lowland areas of Oromia and SNNP regions.

Based on the National Meteorological Agency’s outlook for the kiremt season of 2017, which indicates an increased likelihood of normal to above normal rainfall over northwestern, western, southwestern and central regions, the NDRMC issued a Flood Alert on 26 June 2017. The Alert identifies woredas in 48 out of 63 zones and three towns across all regions that are at risk of flooding and recommends preparedness actions to mitigate the impact, including the reinforcement of flood protection structures in at risk areas, strengthened community mobilization and sensitization and dissemination of early warning information. Pre-positioning of food and non-food items for rapid response and surveillance of communicable diseases is also recommended.

Ethiopia is the second largest refugee-hosting country in Africa, with 838,722 registered refugees at the end of May 2017. On 23rd of June in Sherkole camp, Benishangul Gumuz, refugees protesting against reductions in food and cash assistance lead to 3 refugees being injured and attacks on Government and humanitarian property; resulting in damage to offices and vehicles. Targeted cuts are being rolled out across refugee camps as a result of limited availability of resources while continued advocacy and fundraising continues. The Administration for Refuges and Returnees Affairs (ARRA) and UNHCR are working with partners to reduce the risk of additional incidents.

The Ministry of Agriculture and FAO have identified a new infestation of Fall Army Worm in 35 zones across the country. The infestation has the potential to lead to significant crop losses if control measures are not sufficiently implemented.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) extended its amnesty period for irregular migrant workers to leave the country voluntarily by one month, from 27th June 2017. The Ethiopian Embassy in KSA has issued travel documents to 106,000 Ethiopian migrants of which, 49,112 have been issued with exit visas/ travel permits. However, as of 25 June, only 24,216 returnees have arrived in Ethiopia. It is estimated that there are more than 500,000 irregular migrants in the KSA, of which half could potentially return to Ethiopia in the near future.

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