• Crisis Severity ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Impact ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Humanitarian Conditions ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Complexity ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Access Constraints ?
    No constraints
    Extreme constraints



The Eritrean government significantly restricts humanitarian access and there is very little information on humanitarian needs. The country is governed by a one-party state; elections have not been held since 1993. Human rights violations including arbitrary detention, indefinite national/military service, and extrajudicial killings have been reported.?Following the signing of the “Joint Declaration of Peace and Friendship” by the governments of Ethiopia and Eritrea in July 2018, border crossings between the two countries were re-opened in September 2018 for the first time in 20 years. However, the last open border crossing was closed in April 2019, with no official reason given.?

Eritrea is subject to harsh climatic conditions, including cyclical drought and flooding during rainy seasons. These events heighten the vulnerability of communities, making it difficult for families to fully recover from the effects of one emergency before another strikes. In recent years, the country’s climatic conditions have tested the coping capacities of the population, which is largely dependent (80%) on subsistence agriculture.?Domestic food production is estimated to meet only between 60-70% of the population’s needs.?

INFORM measures Eritrea's risk of humanitarian crisis and disaster to be high, at 5.2/10.?

Latest Developments


No significant recent humanitarian developments. This crisis is being monitored by our analysis team. 

Humanitarian Access


Extreme constraints

Eritrea continues to experience extreme access constraints. There is very limited humanitarian presence as the Government only allows a small number of NGOs to operate in the country. In accordance with Proclamation No. 145/2005, the few organisations present in Eritrea can only implement programmes in partnership with government entities. The Government also places more emphasis on development programmes, restricting the kind of projects these organisations can offer. 

The Government implements movement restrictions within the country, requiring official permission for anyone seeking to travel from one region to another. This restriction affects both the access of people in need to assistance and the access of humanitarian staff to people in need. Checkpoints located countrywide require travel permits and identification documents to confirm that travellers have the authorisation to travel. Some areas, like Adi Keyh, Agordat, Arezza, Barentu, Dekemhare, Ghinda, and Nakfa towns and the stretch between Setit and Mereb Rivers, are contaminated with landmines that also limit people’s movement. 

The Eritrean telecommunications sector is underdeveloped, partly because of a monopoly in telephone service provision and limited investment in the sector. Landline, mobile phone, and internet networks are unreliable and often limited to a few hours of service a day in major cities. The Government also controls the issuance of SIM cards. Some rural areas are inaccessible by road and can only be accessed by foot, camel, or donkey. Limited telecommunication services and the absence of road networks in these areas lead people in need to walk typically long distances to facilities with telephones to receive information about upcoming humanitarian programmes, such as health interventions. 

For more information you can consult our latest Global Humanitarian Access Overview – December 2022

Key Priorities


Protection: Torture, arbitrary arrests, denial of fair public trial, violence against women and girls, human trafficking, and criminalisation of same-sex sexual conduct have been reported.?

Food security: Eritrea is vulnerable to climatic conditions, including drought and limited water supply, substantially increasing the chances of food insecurity and loss of livelihoods. This is aggravated by mandatory national service meaning farmers are unable to regularly attend to their crops.?

Education: According to the latest report published in 2018, 340,000 children are out of school. For lower secondary school, the net enrolment rate is of 44%. The majority of these children are from nomadic or semi-nomadic communities meaning access is an issue. These communities are also extremely prone to natural disasters.?