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ETHIOPIA Food Security Outlook, January to June 2011

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- Following the meher harvest, which began in October 2010, food security has generally improved in the meher producing parts of the country. However, due to crop damage caused by widespread floods and other weather related shocks the meher harvest is likely to be lower than initially anticipated. The Humanitarian Requirement Documents outlining assistance needs is expected to be released in February 2011.

- Although the National Meteorology Agency has not provided a forecast for the April to June gu/genna/belg rains, below normal performance of these rains is considered likely. This is expected to exacerbate prevailing food insecurity which resulted from near complete failure of October to December rains in southern pastoral and agro pastoral areas.

- Due to close to normal sapie (December/January) 2010 rains food security among the dominant root crop, mainly sweet potatoes growing areas in central and eastern SNNPR is estimated to remain stable throughout the outlook period. The poor and very

- poor households normally rely on these harvests, during the March to May lean season.

- Staple food prices are likely to follow typical seasonal trends throughout the outlook period, though remain higher than the 2005 to 2009 averages given the current harvest and the continued price stabilization measures taken by the government.