Food security analysis conducted in six regions of Ethiopia indicates that, despite ongoing assistance, an estimated 8 million people (27% of the 28.7 million people analysed) were severely food insecure in IPC Phase 3 (Crisis) or worse between July and September 2019. Of these, about 6.1 million people were classified in IPC Phase 3 (Crisis) and about 1.9 million people in IPC Phase 4 (Emergency).
Between October 2019 and January 2020, Ethiopia’s food security situation is likely to improve slightly due to the seasonal (Meher) harvests. However, the below normal Belg season production, conflict and climate-induced displacement, high food prices, and the long dry spell in the northeastern pastoral areas will likely affect the food security situation resulting in about 6.7 million people expected to be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse.
Between February and June 2020, harvests from the Meher season will likely be dwindling and insufficient to sustain adequate food consumption through the lean season in areas that rely on Belg agricultural and pastoral production. Moreover, households relying on pastoral livelihoods typically depend on markets for food during this period. As food prices are expected to remain higher than previous years, these will most likely affect market access. About 8.5 million people are thus expected to be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse.
The analysis includes all food insecure households irrespective of whether they benefit from Productive Safety Net Programme (PSNP), including current IDPs or returnees. Several factors exacerbate food insecurity in Ethiopia. Conflict and climatic factors have driven internal displacement in different parts of the country, disrupting livelihood activities and distorting food market systems and prices. As of end of September 2019, there were around 1.64 million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) (IOM, September 2019). About two thirds were displaced by inter-communal violence, while those displaced by climatic factors were estimated to be slightly below half a million. Below average Belg and Gu/Sugum rainfall in parts of Afar, Oromia, Somali, Tigray and SNNP regions, curtailed food production and reduced livestock production. High staple food prices, up to 98%, were also registered in parts of Afar, Oromia, SNNP, Somali and Tigray limiting food access for the poorest households.