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FAO presents $50 million emergency plan for Ethiopia

Staff writer |
The strongest El Niño weather episode in the last several decades has caused repeated crop failure, decimated livestock herds and driven some 10.2 million people across Ethiopia into food insecurity.

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FAO presented its emergency response plan to urgently protect livestock and rebuild crop production in the Horn of Africa nation.

Under the current El Niño, crop production in Ethiopia has dropped by 50 to 90%.
The El Niño phenomenon is associated with the abnormal warming of sea surface temperature in parts of the Pacific Ocean that has severe effects on global weather and climate patterns — leading to reduced rainfall and drought in some regions and heavy rains and flooding in others.

Under the current El Niño, crop production in Ethiopia has dropped by 50 to 90 percent in some regions and failed completely in the east. The drought resulted in the loss of hundreds of thousands of livestock.

According to the latest assessments, access to pasture and water will continue to deteriorate until the start of the next rainy season in March. As a result, experts anticipate that livestock will become leaner, sicker and produce less milk and many more will die.

Crop reserves are severely depleted, leaving farmers vulnerable without means of production for the upcoming planting season that starts in March — in many cases, farmers lost valuable seeds through recurrent crop failures, planting time and time again in the hopes of rains that never came.

As a result, malnutrition rates have soared and the number of admissions for severe acute malnutrition among children is now the highest ever reported.


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