East Africa Food Security Alert: December 29, 2021 – Ethiopia

Over 20 million people in need of emergency food assistance in Horn of Africa due to severe drought and conflict

FEWS NET predicts that more than 20 million people in Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya will need emergency humanitarian food assistance in 2022 to prevent crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse outcomes. The sharp increase in food aid needs, which exceeds the food crises of 2016 and 2017 by more than 70 percent, is mainly due to the effects of a severe drought in the eastern part of the region and the effects of conflict, in particular. especially in northern Ethiopia. Most areas of the Horn are experiencing water shortages and record growing conditions, reflecting both degradation of pasture for livestock and wilting or lack of crop growth. Household purchasing power is also declining due to a sharp increase in staple food prices, falling livestock prices and weak demand for agricultural labor. At the same time, the conflict in northern Ethiopia has created serious problems in food availability and access for millions of households.
With the possibility of a historic fourth consecutive low rainfall season at the start of 2022 and given the likelihood that conflict in northern Ethiopia will persist, there are strong concerns that gaps in household food consumption worsen and lead to increased levels of acute malnutrition and mortality by mid-to-end 2022. Large-scale humanitarian assistance in food and livelihoods, coupled with unimpeded humanitarian access to affected areas. conflict, is urgently needed to save lives and livelihoods.

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