Charity Save the Children, a humanitarian aid group in Ethiopia said that at least 10 million Ethiopians will need food in 2016 due to the worst drought in decades.
Ethiopia has one of the highest economic growth rates in Africa, the country still depends largely on farming, which employs three quarters of the 90 million population. But drought has led to food and water shortages caused by failed spring and summer rains and worsened by the Elnino weather phenomenon.
According to the Ethiopian government and the United Nations, at least 8 million people have so far received aid this year. The number could reach 15 million next year, the UN has warned.
John Graham, director for save the Children in Ethiopia said that, about 10.1 millions Ethiopians would face critical food shortages in 2016.
About 400,000 children would be at risk of developing severe acute malnutrition.
"The worst drought in Ethiopia for 50 years is happening right now," said Graham, noting that, the estimated cost of the emergency relief was $1.4 billion.
"We simply cannot sit back and wait until the situation has reached crisis point this time," he said in a statement.
El Nino weather pattern, caused by the warming sea-surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean, marked extreme scorching weather with heavy rains and flood in some regions of the globe.
Last month, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) reported that floods caused by the weather anomaly affected over 210,000 people and displaced more than 100,000 people in Ethiopia.