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Ethiopia Water
In Ethiopia, women and girls may have to walk hours or days to find clean drinking water for their households. USAID rehabilitates water points, supplying life-saving access to clean drinking water to drought-affected households.
Kelley Lynch

Key Developments

An estimated 8.5 million people in central, eastern, northern, and southern Ethiopia experienced severe food insecurity between July and September. Food insecurity is expected to remain atypically high across the country through the first half of 2021, with up to 11 million people facing severe food insecurity due to multiple factors, including elevated food prices and limited access to income-generating opportunities.

Heavy June-to-September kiremt rains have triggered widespread flooding, displacing nearly 293,000 people in six regions and adversely affecting approximately 1 million people.

USAID is also responding to the worst locust outbreak in decades. Learn more about our response in Ethiopia and several other East Africa countries.


Ethiopia is experiencing its second severe drought in less than two years. Insufficient rainfall during the 2017 rainy season has led to severe water shortages, catastrophic livestock losses, and failed crops throughout the country. The drought in southern Ethiopia comes as the country’s north and central highland communities continue to recover from a severe drought in 2016 triggered by multiple consecutive seasons of below-average rainfall and the effects of the 2015/2016 El Niño climatic event. In August 2017, the Government of Ethiopia estimated that 8.5 million people in the country would require humanitarian assistance through December, primarily due to increased drought-related needs in southern and southeastern parts of Ethiopia.

In addition to drought, populations across Ethiopia face other challenges that contribute to sustained humanitarian needs and an ongoing complex emergency—including above-average food prices, disease outbreaks, localized intercommunal conflict, seasonal flooding, and limited access to health and water, sanitation, and hygiene services.



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