El Niño in East Africa

The 2015-16 El Niño weather conditions contributed to the worst drought in Ethiopia in more than 50 years. Over 10 million people require emergency food aid and 400,000 children have been severely malnourished because of failed seasonal rains.

Two boys carry a jerry can in the drought-affected town of Jowhar in Somalia. Credit: Tobin Jones/United Nations

The Australian Government has supported Ethiopia through a $10 million package that includes:

  • $5.8 million to the World Food Programme (WFP) for food aid
  • $4.2 million to the Ethiopia Humanitarian Fund

In addition, $6.4 million from Australia's annual funding to WFP has been allocated by WFP to support its operations in Ethiopia.

Failed rains have caused water shortages in much of east Africa. Credit: David Mutua/United Nations

In neighbouring Somalia, 4.9 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance. In the 2015-16 financial year Australia provided:

  • $5 million for humanitarian assistance through the United Nation's Somalia Humanitarian Fund, which has been used for the El Niño response

$2.5 million to the Somalia Resilience Program (SomReP), which is improving communities' capacity to react to climate shocks. This brings Australia's total contribution to SomReP to $7 million since 2014.

Last Updated: 8 August 2016