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News: Drought like conditions, desert locust infestation aggravate food security risk in four regions – UN

Ongoing drought like conditions in parts of the Amhara region has impacted tens of thousands of people (Photo: Amhara Agriculture Bureau/Facebook)

Addis Abeba – The UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in its latest report that persistent drought like conditions coupled with desert locust infestation in parts of Afar, Amhara, Somali and Tigray regions of Ethiopia have further aggravated the risk of food insecurity.

The drought-like conditions in the four regions have severely impacted crop production, livestock health, and households’ (HHs) access to water, while malnutrition rates above emergency threshold are reported in parts of Afar and Amhara regions, according to the report.

Ongoing drought like conditions in parts of North Gondar, Central Gondar, North Shewa, North and South Wello, South Gondar, Wag Hemra and Oromo Special zones of the Amhara region has impacted tens of thousands of people who are already dependent on humanitarian food aid, it stated, adding that the region continues to face an alarming malnutrition crisis with inadequate response.

According to OCHA aid organizations have cautioned the need for emergency nutrition interventions to avoid worsening of the high malnutrition rates in Afar region where a total of 13,899 Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) cases with 28 deaths have been recorded as of the last week of July.

The report also stated that about 25,154 hectares in Afar, Amhara, Dire Dawa, Oromia, Somali and Tigray have been infested with desert locusts becoming a major threat to food security in these areas.

In the context of “vast unaddressed pre-existing humanitarian needs and constrained access in some parts of Amhara and Oromia regions due to insecurity, the convergence of these shocks with disease outbreaks, such as cholera, malaria, measles and leishmaniasis is further deepening vulnerability of the affected communities, including internally displaced persons (IDPs) and returnees” the report warned.

On Tuesday, Addis Standard reported that at least 132,000 hectares of farmland in Tigray, covering 20% of the region’s farmland in the south, southeast, and eastern zones, have been impacted by drought, endangering a crucial harvest in a region already devastated by war. AS

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