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European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations
Ethiopia

Factsheet

Introduction

There are significant humanitarian needs in Ethiopia due to an overlap of crises – conflict, inter-communal clashes, natural hazards, and COVID-19.

Since November 2020, the conflict in northern Ethiopia has triggered a dire humanitarian situation. Tens of thousands have died, millions are internally displaced, and dozens of thousands have sought refuge in Sudan.

A prolonged drought in eastern and southern Ethiopia is leading to soaring food and nutritional insecurity and loss of income opportunities. It is most probably the worst in the Horn of Africa region in the last 40 years. The EU continue supporting the most vulnerable.

What are the needs?

The conflict has led to massive and acute humanitarian needs in Afar, Amhara and Tigray. Millions of people are displaced. Over 80% of the Tigray population urgently needs food assistance.

Destroyed health facilities, water installations and schools, and the lack of supplies, have created acute humanitarian needs in Tigray, Afar, and Amhara.

Humanitarian aid remains very constrained in Tigray due to various challenges. Since mid-2021, Tigray has been essentially cut off from external assistance. Lack of humanitarian access, and the total disruption of essential services since November 2020, have resulted in critical needs and loss of life.

Since the end of March, a humanitarian truce and cessation of hostilities have resulted in improved aid deliveries. However, the assistance is still far below the needs.

In addition, the lack of fuel in Tigray makes it very difficult to reach many areas with high needs. Small quantities of humanitarian supplies (mainly medical and nutritional) are also being airlifted to the region since early 2022.

Other areas in Ethiopia, such as Benishangul-Gumuz, continue to experience violence and other inter-communal tensions. The situation is threatening the lives and safety of people, pushing many to flee.

Eastern and southern Ethiopia are currently experiencing a 4th season without rains (since late 2020). The present drought is impacting at least 8 million people. Worse, many affected communities have not yet had time to recover from the previous drought (2017).

Ethiopia hosts more than 865,000 refugees, mainly from South Sudan, Somalia, Eritrea, and Sudan. They rely almost entirely on humanitarian aid to meet their basic needs.

In addition to the COVID-19 pandemic, cholera and other epidemic outbreaks remain a major public health threat.

Ethiopia country map

How are we helping?

In 2022, the EU is allocating more than €58 million to humanitarian projects in Ethiopia, including support actions for conflict- and drought-affected populations.

The EU’s humanitarian funding helps vulnerable people in Ethiopia by contributing to:

  • rapid, life-saving humanitarian response to people affected by ongoing and continued conflict situations across the country
  • assistance to refugees, returnees, and asylum-seekers
  • addressing critical needs among vulnerable people triggered by natural shocks, including drought, floods, epidemic outbreaks and pests.

This includes our support to people affected by the Northern Ethiopia conflict in Tigray, Afar and Amhara. Some of our other priorities are (i) the growing critical needs in the drought-affected regions in southern Ethiopia, (ii) people affected by food insecurity and children suffering from severe acute malnutrition, and (iii) the continued support to refugees in Ethiopia.

Through our humanitarian actions, we help provide (i) protection, (ii) food aid, (iii) safe water, (iv) shelter, (v) basic essential items, (vi) nutritional assistance and health care, (vii) disease prevention, (viii) logistical support to humanitarian operations, and (ix) education for children. In addition, the EU provides support to emergency health actions across the country among vulnerable communities.

The EU is deeply concerned about the protection of people affected by conflict across the country. The EU is following closely the situation in Tigray and its neighboring regions. The EU is engaging with relevant stakeholders for unhindered, immediate, and safe access to all conflict-impacted areas.

Also, the European Commission has allocated €100 million in humanitarian assistance to support the rollout of vaccination campaigns in Africa. At least €14 million out of this funding will support vaccination campaigns for the most vulnerable in Eastern Africa, including in Ethiopia.

Last updated: 15/06/2022
Picture: © UNICEF, 2019

Facts & figures

Over 865,000 refugees, mostly from South Sudan, Somalia, Eritrea, and Sudan (UNHCR)

More than 4.5 million people internally displaced in Ethiopia due to conflict and climate (IOM)

At least 7.2 million people are affected by the drought (OCHA).

Over 30 million people need humanitarian assistance (OCHA)

More than 15 million people in need of emergency food assistance, including 9 million in northern Ethiopia. 

EU humanitarian funding:
€58.25 million in 2022