Addis Abeba, July 01/2021 – The shortage of belg season rains (April to June) due to late-onset and long dry spells has left communities in East and West Hararge Zones with no harvest and food products. The failure of the belg rains has also largely affected land preparation for the 2021/22 meher season (June-September), the UNOCHA said.
Currently, a significant increase of an estimated 40 to 50 percent of malnutrition cases was reported in East and West Hararge Zones compared to the same period of time last yearUNOCHA
Farmers in the two zones had lost an average of 30 to 40 per cent in production during last year’s Meher season (2020/21) as the rain was erratic, uneven, and inconsistent with onsets and withdrawals. There was also crop damages due to Desert Locust and floods.
Thus, the entire food security situation in both zones is dire where rain conditions continue to be very poor, potentially leaving nearly half of the population to be in need of food assistance in 2021/2022. Currently, a significant increase of an estimated 40 to 50 percent of malnutrition cases was reported in East and West Hararge Zones compared to the same period of time last year. The monthly increase was particularly high in East Hararge Zone. Food insecurity, inconsistent provision of targeted supplementary feeding supplies, and the phasing out of many nutrition projects have contributed to the increase of malnutrition especially among children under 5 and pregnant and lactating women. During humanitarian crises, women are more likely to make sacrifices, such as eating less food portions, for the well-being of their families. Malnourished pregnant women face increased risks of miscarriages and anemia as well as dying during delivery. Malnutrition also has severe impact on the physical and cognitive development of children, leading to perpetuating illness, poverty and inequality.
East and West Hararge Zones host nearly 150,000 IDPs and over 300,000 returnees who are living in dire conditions with insufficient humanitarian assistance.