Humanitarian Health Action

Ethiopia - Humanitarian Response Plan 2016

Ethiopia is experiencing one of its worst droughts in decades. Government estimates of people needing food assistance rose from 4.5 million people in August 2015 to 8.2 million in October. Some regions experienced between 50 and 90% crop loss. Lack of rainfall and subsequent drought have caused an increase in humanitarian needs, which are expected to continue through much of 2016.

Lives are at risk due to the lack of food and water and the risk of disease outbreaks.

Also, 3.6 million people are in need of emergency health care. The drought-induced increase in household food insecurity is resulting in record levels of acute malnutrition. In 2015, rates of children’s severe acute malnourishment rose, with August numbers being the highest reported in past years – even compared to the Horn of Africa crisis in 2011.

Health Sector Situation

Access to emergency health services is needed for approximately 400 000 children projected to be severely acutely malnourished, 1.7 million moderately malnourished pregnant and lactating mothers and 820 000 people predicted to be displaced by drought and flooding during 2016. Health emergency preparedness and response, including the availability of drugs and medical supplies, is relatively limited in relation to the current and anticipated degree of the crisis.

Estimates for 2016 show that poor water availability, lack of sanitation, decreased food availability and displacement will significantly increase the risk of mortality and morbidity resulting from malnutrition and outbreaks of communicable disease. Outbreaks include measles, meningitis, malaria, dengue fever, diarrhoeal disease and acute respiratory infection.

An estimated 80 060 of the expected 400 000 severely malnourished children will develop medical complications that need highly intensive lifesaving medical treatments in hospital-based therapeutic feeding centres.

Malnutrition amongst pregnant women increases the risk of abortion, fetal death and bleeding, contributing to increased maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality. A minimum initial reproductive health service package is required. Stresses from displacement are also linked with increasing psychosocial and mental health effects. Overburdened national health systems will face increasing difficulties to address emergency health needs.

The Federal Ministry of Health and partners have already taken important steps to address on-going outbreaks of scabies, measles and dengue fever. This includes a three year national vaccination campaign against meningitis A. However, new threats are appearing such as meningitis C in the open camps of Gambella and increases in the number of watery diarrhoea, malaria, dengue and other communicable diseases in drought and/or flood affected areas.

Health Cluster Objectives

Objective 1: Provide life-saving health services to highly food insecure and displaced people in emergency affected areas.

  • Planned Outputs:

    Reach 3.6 million people with emergency and essential health care services including reproductive health for the displaced population.

    Reach 3.5 million people via mobile health and nutrition team deployment in pastoralist communities – to deliver essential primary health care services and to support surveillance.

    Support 3.2 million people in the most affected regions with temporary health professional deployment (surge capacity).

    Assist 3.6 million people via community engagement and social mobilization.

Objective 2: Detect and respond to epidemic disease outbreaks in high risk areas.

  • Planned Outputs:

    Protect 3.6 million people via communicable disease outbreak investigation, response and control (medical supplies, medications, and lab supplies).

    Reach 3.6 million people with public health surveillance and emergency nutrition screening.

Beneficiaries targeted by health partners in 2016

Health partners will target 3.6 million people in 2016. These include people:

  • affected by drought
  • at risk of flooding and displacement,
  • at high risk of malnutrition and disease outbreaks

Highly vulnerable individuals include

  • all women of reproductive age
  • pregnant and lactating women
  • all newborn babies
  • children under five years old
  • elderly people
  • people with disabilities.

Geographical areas targeted by health partners in 2016

Partners will target vulnerable woredas in Tigray, Amhara, Afar, Somali, Gambella, Oromia, Dire Dawa City Administration and the Southern Nations, Nationalities and People’s (SNNP) region; and areas of population displacement (Afar, Gambella, Hareri, Oromia, Somali and SNNP).

Health Cluster funding requirements for 2016

US$ 33 600 000 (health partners including WHO)

WHO funding requirements for 2016

WHO is requesting a total of US$ 8 200 000