Responding to Humanitarian Crises and Enhancing Resilience to Food Insecurity

About this Operation

Operation Documents

Resource Situation

This operation has been modified as per Budget revision to 106650 extend the PRRO from 1 January to 31 December 2011

The second most populous country in Africa, Ethiopia’s estimated 77 million population is growing at 2.9 percent a year, equivalent to 40,000 births per week. Per capita gross national income was US$110 in 2004.About 80 percent of the population lives in rural areas, mainly in the highlands, where an estimated 50 percent of the land is degraded.

The dominant agriculture sector fuels growth but is highly dependent on rainfall. About 30 million people – 47.5 percent of the rural population – live below the poverty line. The 2006 Human Development Index ranks Ethiopia 170th of 177 countries.

Despite the government’s commitment to combating food insecurity, Ethiopia is still highly vulnerable to food crises. Only 10 percent of cereal croplands are irrigated; severe drought can shrink farm production by up to 90 percent.

The Government considers to be at greatest risk the 8 million rural people it defines as “chronically food-insecure” because they cannot meet their food needs even in good years. A further 7 million are at risk of periodic acute food insecurity from drought and floods.

Between 1996 and 2006, an average of 6.9 million people per year required food assistance, peaking at 13 million during the 2002 drought. A mid-term evaluation concluded that WFP’s current protracted relief and recovery operation portfolio is innovative and has evolved over many years of addressing the complex food insecurity problem. All four components of the operation are coherent with government policies and strategies on food security, nutrition, health and HIV/AIDS.

The evaluation also noted that WFP must integrate the activities with the complementary activities of others and ensure that staff have the competence to carry out innovations.The government’s Plan for Accelerated and Sustained Development to End Poverty, approved in late 2006, focuses on investment in agriculture, education, health and disaster risk reduction mechanisms to end chronic food insecurity and recurrent food crises.

The operation aims to reduce people’s vulnerability to acute food insecurity, and support capacities to manage risk, enabling food-insecure people to invest in more resilient livelihoods. Its four components support the government’s productive safety net programme, national relief response and national child survival programme, and the strategic framework for the national response to HIV/AIDS.

WFP will provide food assistance only when it is the most appropriate tool, based on vulnerability and options available at the community level. Food security is expected to improve gradually, but in Ethiopia there is always a risk of catastrophic drought, owing to erratic rainfall and inadequate water management. WFP will remain ready to support large-scale emergency response. As a humanitarian operation, most resources in this operation contribute to saving lives, protecting livelihoods and addressing the special nutritional needs of food-insecure mothers, young children and people living with HIV.

The operation also supports access of HIV/AIDS orphans to education. Through all four components, WFP and its partners will strive to enhance country capacities to manage disasters and reduce food insecurity. Thus, this operation is in line with Strategic Objectives 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 and Millennium Development Goals 1, 2, 4, 5, 6 and 7.