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Humanitarian needs triple during record El Niño

Photo credit: FAO

08 February 2016, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. FAO’s irrigation and income diversification projects have become instrumental in tackling the negative impacts of El Niño- induced drought for pastoral and agro-pastoral communities in Afar Region.

 

Ethiopian farmers need urgent assistance to feed country caught in major drought

Timely agricultural assistance for the upcoming rainy season is essential to help the drought-affected people of Ethiopia, as one of the strongest El Niño events on record continues to have devastating effects on the lives and livelihoods of farmers and herders.

Humanitarian needs in Ethiopia have tripled since the beginning of 2015 as the drought has led to successive crop failures and widespread livestock deaths.

As a result, food insecurity and malnutrition rates are alarming in the Horn of Africa country, with some 10.2 million people now food insecure. One-quarter of all districts in Ethiopia are officially classified as facing a food security and nutrition crisis.

With planting for the country’s first rainy season, the belg,already delayed and the meher season – Ethiopia’s main agricultural campaign – fast approaching, farmers need immediate support to help them produce food between now and September for millions facing hunger.

“FAO urgently needs $13 million by the end of March to support more than 600,000 of the worst affected people,” said FAO country representative Amadou Allahoury Diallo.

“We’re expecting that needs will be particularly high during the next few weeks,” he added, “so it’s critical that we’re able to respond quickly and robustly to reboot agriculture now before the drought further decimates the food security and livelihoods of millions.”

The meher produces up to 85 percent of the nation’s food supplies.

Read the full article: FAO

Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.