The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization has warned that new drought across parts of southern Ethiopia may put recovery efforts at risk, unless urgent efforts are made to shore up vulnerable households in rural areas.
In a statement released on Tuesday, pastoral communities in these regions could suffer consequences of last year’s El Niño climate phenomenon, already witnessing forage shortfalls and water scarcity.
Safeguarding recent gains requires responding to the livelihood-sustaining needs of fragile households that lost or sold livestock and other assets, to cope with the worst El Niño in modern history.
The organization is now calling for an immediate response to support the food security and nutrition of households relying on animals, along with the provision of supplementary animal feed, especially along migratory routes.
Targeted de-stocking interventions will be implemented to make protein-rich meat available for vulnerable pastoral communities.
80 percent of the Ethiopian population depend on agriculture and livestock for their livelihoods and an even higher share of the country’s arable land relies on seasonal rainfall.