Drought in Ethiopia


Eastern Africa (Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, and Djibouti) is experiencing one of the worst droughts in decades. Since 2016, repeated cycles of reduced rainfalls and persisting political instability have led to a significant deterioration in food security and to increasing numbers of internal and cross border displacement. The number of people in crisis and in need of humanitarian intervention in the region continues to grow.  As of May 2017 an estimated 16 million people face the impact of severe drought, including significant livestock deaths and crop production losses.


As a result, large numbers of people have moved to areas less affected by the drought.  In Ethiopia, 316,128 have been newly displaced since the beginning of 2017 due to the effect of the drought on key natural resources and household livelihoods. The drought also triggered cross border movements of affected people, which may increase significantly with the predicted poor harvest as a result of below average rains during March-May.


As health, food, nutrition, WASH (water, health, sanitation and hygiene) conditions continue to worsen, the humanitarian response has not scaled up to meet the needs of those affected. An assessment by the Government of Ethiopia with the support of humanitarian partners estimates that at least 5.6 million people will require immediate lifesaving humanitarian assistance this year.


The drought comes at a time when Ethiopia continues to recover from the effects of the severe drought of 2015/2016.  It now faces similar conditions in the eastern and southern parts of the country, including Gambella region where the Wellers are serving as missionaries with the support of CMPC.


In response to this crisis, the Mission and Local Outreach Committee recently sent a donation to World Vision to support their emergency relief program in Ethiopia.   Please keep the Wellers and those stricken by the drought in your prayers.


Philip Davies