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European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations
© UNICEF, 2019



Ethiopia has significant humanitarian needs due to overlapping crises – conflicts, natural hazards and epidemic outbreaks. The protection of people affected by conflicts across the country is deeply concerning.

The 2-year conflict in northern Ethiopia, which ended in November 2022, triggered a dire humanitarian situation. Hundreds of thousands were reportedly killed, millions internally displaced, while tens of thousands sought refuge in Sudan.

A prolonged drought in eastern and southern Ethiopia, the worst in the region for 40 years, continues to lead to soaring food and nutritional insecurity and loss of income opportunities.

What are the needs?

The conflict in northern Ethiopia led to massive and acute humanitarian needs in Afar, Amhara and Tigray, which are still only partially addressed.

Some 2 years of conflict have created acute humanitarian needs. Services are disrupted and vital  infrastructure such as health facilities, water installations and schools have been destroyed.

In other areas such as Oromia, Sidama, Somali and Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People's Region ongoing, violence and other inter-communal tensions continue to threaten the lives of many. As a result, humanitarian needs increase, and people face prolonged displacement.  

In addition, eastern and southern Ethiopia are experiencing an unprecedented prolonged drought following 5 consecutive failed rainy seasons and a 6th one forecast for 2023. Nearly 17 million people are estimated to need humanitarian assistance in drought-affected areas.

Ethiopia hosts over 875,000 refugees, mainly from South Sudan, Somalia, Eritrea, and Sudan. They rely almost entirely on humanitarian aid to meet their basic needs.

Epidemic outbreaks, such as cholera, remain a major public health threat.  A cholera outbreak is currently affecting 22 districts in the Oromia and Somali regions.

Ethiopia country map

How are we helping?

In 2023, the EU is allocating over €60.5 million to humanitarian projects in Ethiopia, supporting actions for conflict- and drought-affected populations. We are working to provide additional funding.

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

  • rapid, multi-sectors life-saving humanitarian response to conflict-affected people
  • vulnerable people affected by natural shocks, including drought, floods, epidemic outbreaks
  • assistance to refugees, asylum-seekers and internally displaced people.

Through its humanitarian actions, the EU supports the provision of (i) protection, (ii) food aid, (iii) safe water, (iv) shelter, (v) basic essential items,  (vi) nutritional assistance,  (vii) health care,  (viii) disease prevention,  (iv) logistic support to humanitarian operations, and (v) education in emergency for children caught up in humanitarian crises.

In response to COVID-19, the European Commission allocated €100 million in humanitarian assistance to support the rollout of vaccination campaigns in Africa. At least €14 million out of this funding supported vaccination campaigns for the most vulnerable in Eastern Africa, including in Ethiopia.

Last updated: 28/03/2023

Facts & figures

Over 875,000 refugees, mostly from South Sudan, Somalia, Eritrea, and Sudan (UNHCR)

4.6 million are internally displaced (OCHA)

24 million living in drought affected areas, with close to 12 million estimated to be food insecure(OCHA)

Over 20 million people need humanitarian assistance (HRP, 2023)

EU humanitarian funding:
Over €60 million in 2023