Ethiopia experienced reduced levels of belg rain (the rainy season from February – April) in most receiving areas, and the succeeding harvest suffered a loss of 40 to 60 percent production compared to average levels. Further, the delayed onset of the kiremt-rain (the main rain season, from June to September), may negatively influence the next harvest season. In addition, water and pasture shortages have led to livestock deaths and decreased production in pastoralist areas.
The El Niño phenomenon currently affecting the weather patterns in Ethiopia is expected to last another 6 to 9 months, resulting in a shorter rainy season and irregular heavy rains in the last quarter of the year.
The HRD estimates that 4.5 million people are in need of immediate relief. The need for funding is urgent. The Ethiopian government has earmarked 700 million Ethiopian birr (approximately US$33 million) to respond to the most urgent needs in the country. The Royal Norwegian Embassy in Addis Ababa is following the situation closely, and will consider a Norwegian contribution to address the current humanitarian needs in Ethiopia.
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