Ethiopia: Acute Food Insecurity Situation: July - September 2020 and Projections for October 2020 - December 2020 and January - June 2021
Around 8.5 million people highly food insecure due to the impacts of COVID-19, desert locusts, displacement and high food prices
01.07.2020 > 30.06.2021


& next steps



Food security analysis for rural populations dependent on Belg pastoral and agro-pastoral areas, conducted in seven regions of Ethiopia, indicates that, despite ongoing Humanitarian Food Assistance (HFA), an estimated 8.5 million people (21% of the 41 million people analysed) are highly acute food insecure in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or higher between July and September 2020. Of these, about 7.1 million people were classified in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and about 1.4 million people in Emergency (IPC Phase 4).

Between October and December 2020, Ethiopia’s food security situation is likely to improve slightly due to the seasonal (Meher) harvests. However, below-average Belg season production, due to desert locust infestation, poor rainfall performance in localized areas, conflict & climate-induced displacement and high food prices fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic, will likely result in around 6.7 million people in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or higher, despite planned and funded humanitarian response.

Between January and June 2021, households relying on pastoral livelihoods typically depend on markets for food during this period. With food inflation at around 24% in July 2020, prices are expected to remain higher than previous years during the lean season, affecting market access. While safety nets are expected during this period, the analysis could not include HFA because it is yet to be planned. About 11.1 million people are expected to be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or higher.

Key Drivers

  • Economic decline and inflation: Significant macroeconomic challenges still prevail in the country, resulting in high inflation rates, which have been exacerbated by COVID-19 prevention measures.
  • Population Displacement: The country recorded 1.8 million internally-displaced people (IDPs) with a majority (1.2 million people) due to conflict, as well as climate-induced factors such as drought and flooding.
  • Desert Locusts: Worst invasion in the last 25 years affecting 76 woredas (zones) in both Belg and Meher seasons. Ethiopia is now the epicenter of the East and Central Africa region. New swarms have been detected in provenance from Yemen.
  • Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic: Lockdown and other measures put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 have had a negative impact on food availability and access, more precisely on food prices, income and food expenditure.

Country Related Information


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