Drought, Then Floods Hit Ethiopia’s Economy

Artificial water pan
FILE – Displaced people gather at an artificial water pan near Habaas town of Awdal region, Somaliland, April 9, 2016. Across the Horn of Africa, millions have been hit by the severe El Nino-related drought.

Floods in Ethiopia, which come on the heels of the worst drought in 50 years, have already claimed the lives of dozens of people and displaced thousands more.

The economic toll will also be particularly severe because three-quarters of Ethiopia’s population lives off the land.

The country’s economy is expected to significantly slow down in 2016, according to the IMF’s World Economic Outlook forecast.

The drought, plus a decline in commodity prices, has resulted in a 4.5 percent GDP growth estimate. The figure, while above the Sub-Saharan Africa average, is a steep decline from nearly a decade of near double-digit growth in Ethiopia.

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