Hunger, famine and starvation: 750,000 people are in the front line, UN study says
Story | 6 June 2022
Ethiopia is currently facing two parallel emergency situations, which exacerbate levels of food insecurity in the country.
A year and a half into the conflict, more people than ever need urgent food assistance across northern Ethiopia.
13 million people across the Tigray, Afar and Amhara regions are in need of food assistance as a direct result of the conflict: 4.8 million people in Tigray, over 7 million in Amhara and 1.2 million in Afar.
Despite the immense operational challenges, WFP had distributed more than 8.4 million food baskets to 4.4 million people across all three regions as of mid-June.
The World Food Programme (WFP) and its partners have scaled up operations since the Government announced a humanitarian truce in March, transporting over 100,000 mt of humanitarian supplies to the Tigray Region since convoys restarted. To reach millions in need and maximize deliveries across all three regions, the opening of two additional corridors (Kombolcha-Mekelle and Gondar-Tigray) is essential.
US$194 million is urgently needed to rapidly scale up WFP’s operations in northern Ethiopia.
Meanwhile, the country is experiencing the driest conditions recorded since 1981, with severe drought leaving an estimated 7.4 million people across the country facing severe hunger in the first quarter of 2022.
The shortages of water and pasture are devastating livelihoods, forcing families from their homes across the Somali, Oromia, Sidama, and Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ regions in the south and southeast.
The seasonal gu rains in March and April were far below normal and did not replenish water resources. As a result, the food insecurity situation is expected to persist due to an insufficient harvest.
Close to 300,000 people have migrated in search of water and pasture for their livestock – but at least 2.1 million livestock have already perished and another 10 million are at risk. Also, more than half a million students have been missing school – either due to school closures or because their families need them to help generate income or care for livestock.
WFP has already supported over 3.3 million people with a combination of emergency relief food and anticipatory actions, saving lives in the short term and building resilience in the long term.
However, to deliver its full drought response to 3.5 million people, WFP requires US$281 million.
WFP is targeting over 3.3 million people across all three regions with unconditional emergency food and nutrition assistance. This includes 2.13 million in Tigray, 650,000 in Amhara, and up to 626,000 in Afar. The Government and partners are providing assistance to the rest.
WFP is helping communities recover faster and better from the drought through microinsurance schemes, infrastructure such as solar powered water pumps for bore holes and amplifying early warning systems to trigger early financial support. WFP targets to reach 3.5 million people in need due to drought in Somali region with food assistance.
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