Meher cropping prospects mostly positive, but SNNPR and eastern Oromia drier than normal
At least 10 million people require emergency food assistance in 2016, following El Niño-induced drought in 2015. Worst-affected areas include Wag Himra, East and West Hararghe, and pastoral areas in Shinile and southern Afar, where Crisis (IPC Phase 3!) outcomes will continue through September. Continued, regular assistance is essential in order to mitigate food consumption gaps.
Assistance needs in Meher-dependent areas should begin to decrease with Meher harvests in November.
The ongoing Kiremt rains have been generally favorable for Meher cropping, although heavy rainfall in the western half and below-average rains in parts of eastern Oromia and SNNPR are threatening to reduce yields. Early impressions point to the prospect of near-average Meher harvests at the national level.
Forecasts for continued heavy rainfall have increased the risk of flooding. Government’s Flood Contingency Plan estimates around one million people are at risk of flooding this year, of whom about 460,000 could be temporarily displaced. Flooding to date has been less than expected, but has caused damage and temporary displacement in parts of Amhara, Afar, and Gambella.
There is a 55-60 percent chance for La Niña to develop by the end of 2016, which would likely suppressthe October to December seasonal rains in the southern and southeastern pastoral areas, and lead to a deterioration of pastoral conditions and food security in those areas.