At least $1.4 billion is urgently required to meet the emergency needs of up 10.2 million Ethiopians affected by drought.
The drought, caused by failed spring and summer rains and worsened by the El Nino weather phenomenon, has led to food and water shortages in the country.
Despite the huge national effort led by the government, which allocated nearly $200m to deal with the food crisis, humanitarian agencies say more international aid is needed.
The appeal seeks $1.4 billion to provide 10.2 million people with emergency food assistance, both government and international organisations, who launched the 2016 joint humanitarian requirements document (HRD) on Friday, say.
The donations are also urgently needed to provide over 5.8 million people with water, health and sanitation, and more than 2.1 million people with nutrition including 400,000 severely malnourished children.
The HRD also identifies funding requirements for education, agriculture and livelihoods, emergency shelter and relief items, displacement, and targeted assistance for women and children.
The document says the impact of the El Niño-driven disaster “will be most acutely felt in the months ahead”.
“The highest priority remains food – some $1.1 billion is urgently required for emergency food assistance,” Gillian Mellsop, UNICEF’s representative to Ethiopia, said.
“We are confident donors will quickly provide this support, as this can prevent needless suffering and far more costly specialised nutrition interventions if we act now.”
“In addition to emergency food aid, we must ensure nutrition, water and health are effectively resourced to meet urgent gaps as well,” UNICEF’s representative said.