Though Ethiopia’s economy has grown quickly in recent years, many of the country’s most vulnerable citizens have not experienced the benefits of this financial upturn and remain dependent on international aid. Owing to instability in bordering countries, particularly South Sudan, Ethiopia remains one of Africa’s leading host country for refugees. In December 2017, the total number of asylum seekers and refugees exceeded 892,555. 2017 also gave rise to significant internal population displacements along the border between the Somali and Oromya regions.
Insufficient rains in 2017 exacerbated by the La Niña phenomenon resulted in drought in the south-east of Ethiopia, added to this was the cholera epidemic that broke out in the country. In early 2016, it was estimated that 10.2 million people were in need of emergency food aid and 2.1 million children and pregnant women were suffering from under-nutrition, of which 400,000 were suffering from severe acute malnutrition. The number of people in food insecurity, however, had reduced by half by early 2017.