Ethiopia – Comprehensive Food Security and Vulnerability Analysis (CFSVA) 2019

The Comprehensive Food Security and Vulnerability Analysis (CFSVA) is aims to explore the state of food and nutrition insecurity, identify the most vulnerable groups to food insecurity, examine the spatial distribution of food insecurity in Ethiopia and identify the driving factors to vulnerability to food and nutrition insecurity. This report is based primarily on analysis of the Welfare Monitoring Survey (WMS), the Household Consumption and Expenditure Survey (HCES), and the Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) conducted in 2015/16. A food security module was incorporated into the WMS questionnaire to collect data on different food security indicators, as per the agreement between Central Statistical Agency (CSA) and World Food Programme (WFP). The data were collected from approximately 30,229 households across the country. During analysis, the state of household food insecurity was assessed using four approaches: 1) the Consolidated Approach for Reporting on Food Security Indicators (CARI), which classifies households into food secure and food insecure; 2) food energy consumption, which measures quantity of food household members consumed; 3) the Dietary Diversity Score, which measures the quality/diversity of food consumed by members of the household; and 4) the Food Consumption Score (FCS), which measures dietary adequacy. Economic vulnerability of household to food insecurity was also analysed proxy indicators, such as poverty (food and general poverty), the Wealth Index, and household food expenditure.

Anthropometric measures, such as height for age (stunting), weight for height (wasting) and underweight (low weight for age), were analysed to provide insight into the nutritional status of children, aged 6-59 months, using DHS data. For non-pregnant women in the reproductive ages (15-49), body mass index (BMI) was applied to estimate the prevalence of under- and overweight.

State of Food Security in Ethiopia

Approximately 20.5 percent of households are estimated to be food insecure in 2016.

At individual level, the proportion of food insecure persons stood at 25.5 percent. This directly translates into approximately 26 million food insecure people . The number of food insecure could have been much higher had food assistance not been provided to around 18 million people through emergency food assistance and productive safety net programme.

Amhara Region experienced the highest percentage of food insecure households (36.1 percent), followed by Afar (26.1 percent) and Tigray (24.7 percent). Nearly 22.7 percent of rural households and 13.9 percent of urban households are food insecure. Overall, rural households are more food insecure than urban households according to all indicators except calorie deficiency.

The proportion of households who have inadequate caloric consumption (<2,550 Kcals per adult equivalent per day) constitutes 31 percent of the total households in Ethiopia, with 24 percent located in urban areas and 33 percent in rural areas. Additionally, mean energy consumption has increased 67 percent since 1996, currently standing at 3,254 Kcal per adult equivalent per day nationally (2016).

The share of starchy staples in total calorie consumption is very high at 71.4 percent indicating a highly unvaried diet. On the average, adults consume 194 kg of cereals per year, which comprises 60.4 percent of the total calorie intake. In 2016, the average annual consumption of maize stood at 66.7 kg per adult equivalent, which constitutes nearly 20 percent of the total calorie intake in the country. Teff, sorghum, and wheat account for 12 percent, 10 percent and 9 percent of overall calories consumed, respectively. Maize remains the primary calorie source for the poor, while teff is the primary calorie source for the higher wealth quintiles. The share of sorghum and wheat, as calorie sources, is dominant in rural Ethiopia as compared to urban areas and nearly the same among the lower four expenditure quintiles (Q1 to Q4). The most important calorie sources in urban areas are primarily teff, oils and fats, constituting more than 40 percent of the calorie intake. From 1996 to 2016, the consumption of cereals has increased but at a decelerating rate. While the average per adult equivalent quantities of starchy staples consumed has increased over the past two decades, the share of the calories has steadily decreased.

The per capita milk and meat consumption of Ethiopian adults is far below their counterparts in surrounding sub-Saharan countries. The per capita milk consumption level in Ethiopia is around 16.6 kg per year. Pastoral and agro-pastoral regions of Somali and Afar have relatively higher per adult equivalent dairy products consumption as compared to other regions. Additionally, the average Ethiopian adult consumes 7.5 kg of meat per year (6.1 kg per capita. The consumption of animal products, including meat, poultry, fish, eggs, milk and dairy products, has increased 65 percent over the last two decades while consumption of pulses stagnated in a general downward trend.

Per capita vegetable consumption in Ethiopia stands at 50.2 kg per year, with the average adult consuming 61 kg of vegetables. The consumption of vegetables is relatively high in SNNPR and Gambella. The consumption of fruits is around 3.5 kg per adult or per capita 2.9 kg per person. Compared to the WHO recommendations of vegetable and fruits consumption, which is around 400g per day per person (146 kg per person per year), the average Ethiopian meet only 36.4 percent of the recommendation. However, there has been a two-fold in the quantity of fruits and vegetables consumed by an average adult from around 31 kg in 1996 to 64.4 kg in 2016.

Approximately 54 percent of households consume four or fewer food groups out of seven during the seven days prior to the date of interview and 18 percent three or fewer. A higher proportion of rural households consumed less diverse diets as compared with urban households (21.4 percent versus 7 percent consumed three or fewer food groups). Somali Region (56 percent), followed by Afar (41 percent) and SNNPR (23 percent), have the highest percent of households consuming three or fewer food groups.

On average, meat and fruit groups are consumed by households less than one day a week. Urban households have a higher consumption of fruits, meat, oil and sugar groups on average, whereas rural households report higher consumption of dairy products. Households' consumption of diversified food (quality foods) tend to increase as their wealth quintile group increases with the exception milk and dairy product consumption. Households in the poorest wealth quintile report the highest mean number of days with the consumption of milk and dairy products. This indicates that household milk consumption in Ethiopia is associated with the livelihood of the community rather than household wealth.

Nearly one in four households (23 percent) had inadequate food consumption during the seven days prior to the date of interview, i.e., consumed less than the acceptable variety of foods and/or only consumed foods with less nutritional values (poor micronutrient, low-quality protein) and nearly one in three (31 percent) reported consuming energy deficient food. The proportion of households with inadequate food consumption was higher in rural areas (25 percent) as compared to the urban areas (14 percent). SNNPR had the highest percentage of households with inadequate consumption at 46 percent followed by Afar (30.6 percent).

Source: World Food Programme