• 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

Key figures

  • 103,700,000 Total population [?]
  • 6,300,000 People displaced [?]
  • 23,500,000 People in Need [?]
  • 17,150,000 Severe humanitarian conditions - Level 4 [?]

Special Reports


Special Reports




More than 23 million people in Ethiopia are estimated in need of humanitarian assistance due to internal conflict, displacement, recurrent natural hazards, and the socioeconomic impact of COVID-19. Nearly 3.9 million people are living in displacement across Ethiopia as at April 2021. Ethiopia hosts more than 814,500 refugees from South Sudan, Somalia, Eritrea and Sudan. Most of them have been living in camp settings in Gambella, Somali, Benishangul-Gumuz, Afar, and Tigray regions. 1.3 million IDP returnees face heightened needs -- they often lack legal documentation and therefore have limited ability to move and access services such as shelter, education, health, and humanitarian assistance.?

Recurrent natural hazards, primarily drought and flooding, result in humanitarian needs. Several consecutive years of drought in southern and southeastern Ethiopia have led to worsening food security and disrupted the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of farmers and herders. In Tigray, ongoing conflict has resulted in the displacement of more than 1.9 million people and high levels of humanitarian need. Between May and June 2021, 5.5 million people (61% of the population analysed) in Tigray and neighbouring regions of Afar and Amhara were facing Crisis or higher (IPC Phase 3 or above) levels of food insecurity, including 350,000 people in Tigray in Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5). Food insecurity in Tigray is expected to worsen at least through September, with 74% of the analysed population projected in Crisis or higher levels, including 401,000 projected in Catastrophe.?

INFORM measures Ethiopia's risk of humanitarian crisis and disaster as high at 6.3/10. The lack of coping capacity stands at 6.8/10 and vulnerability at 6.5/10. ?

Latest Developments


24/11: Shortage of the usual bi-annual rainfall in May and September in Oromia region's Borana zone has resulted in increased food and water needs across all 13 woredas of the zone. Local residents say 35,000 cattle have died because of drought conditions as at mid-November. Given that many people depend on livestock for their livelihood, these losses will negatively impact food security.?

24/11: Large-scale displacement was reported in Amhara over 9-15 November, from South Wello, North Wello, and Wag Hemra zones to North Shewa zone, because of active fighting. The IDPs are staying with the host community and in school buildings. Urgent needs include shelter, food (especially in Ebinat IDP site), and health services.?

04/11: On 2 November, the Ethiopian government declared a nationwide, six-month state of emergency following the advancement of Tigrayan forces and allied groups. Access constraints because of emergency measures and insecurity will likely impact humanitarian response. The impact of fighting on humanitarian needs is still unclear, but large-scale displacement is reported in Amhara. ?

Humanitarian Access


EXTREME constraints

Humanitarian access in Ethiopia has deteriorated since the last access report, predominantly owing to the inclusion of the Tigray crisis in the score. Although clearance procedures for the deployment of international aid workers into Tigray were eased at the federal level in March 2021, access constraints remain severe and continue to change across the region.

Armed groups are present throughout Tigray, and active conflict continues. Humanitarian responders face serious security incidents. Since November 2020, at least 12 aid workers have been killed in the region. The response continues to be hampered by looting, diversion, and confiscation of aid. Checkpoints and curfews are leading to delays and obstruction of aid. Goods and services such as communication, fuel, electricity, and banking are intermittent or lacking. Many of the estimated two million IDPs and people in rural areas lack access to services because of insecurity, limited response, and widespread destruction and looting of basic infrastructure.

Since late June, the security and access situation in Tigray has further deteriorated. As at 2 July, movement into Tigray was restricted, communication was cut off, and humanitarian response was largely on hold. In other areas of Ethiopia, humanitarian access is increasingly limited by violence, particularly in Benishangul-Gumuz and Oromia regions. Floods affected Afar, the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People’s region, and Somali in April 2021, causing damage to roads and limiting access to IDP settlements. IDPs and refugees across the country face restricted access to aid and services.

Read more in the latest ACAPS Humanitarian Access Overview.


Increasingly intense and widespread conflict in Afar and Amhara causes mass displacement, access constraints, food insecurity, and protection concerns Latest update: 26/10/2021


Highly unlikely Somewhat likely Highly likely


Very low Moderate Major


The conflict, which has been active in the Tigray region since November 2020, began spreading into northern Amhara and northwestern Afar regions in mid-July?. As at 1 September, fighting in these two regions has displaced more than 370,000 people?. More conflict likely will erupt in Afar and Amhara if the Tigrayan forces advance to more zones. Fear of Tigrayan forces attempting to reach Semera (Afar) again and controlling Ethiopia’s main supply route from Djibouti port is likely to intensify any conflict in Afar and lead parties to the conflict to request support from allies?.

Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) is likely to continue seeking foreign support from Eritrean Defense Force (EDF). Large numbers of EDF members re-entered Ethiopia on 23 August and are present in boundary areas close to the Eritrean border and in western Tigray?. If EDF re-engages in the fighting, the armed conflict likely will be further intensified.

During the 1980s insurgency against the military dictatorship in Ethiopia, the Sudanese border with Tigray was an essential supply route for Tigrayans?. Currently, EDF and Amhara forces continue to occupy positions in western Tigray to prevent the establishment of a Tigrayan supply route to import food and weapons from Sudan?.

Other alliances with non-state armed groups inside Ethiopia will probably be established, following the Oromo Liberation Army’s alliance with Tigrayan forces in August?. Attempts to control supply routes and new alliances with more military forces are likely to increase tensions between parties to the conflict, spreading armed conflict into more zones in Afar and Amhara.


The escalating tension among armed groups is likely to spread armed conflict to more areas in Afar and Amhara, affecting an estimated 745,000 people in Afar and about 3.3 million in Amhara. Increased insecurity in Afar and Amhara likely will lead to further mass displacement and access constraints. Humanitarian aid is apt to be affected by increased checkpoints, insecurity, and looting of supplies, contributing to worsening food insecurity. Already, nearly 1.7 million people in Afar and Amhara are food-insecure?. The number is likely to increase, and food insecurity levels will likely worsen.

Protection needs for women in Afar and Amhara are likely to increase, as they are highly likely to be subjected to sexual and gender-based violence in conflict areas?. If EDF enters Afar, some 38,000 Eritrean refugees are likely to have increased protection needs?.

Health facilities are likely to be overwhelmed by an increase in injuries and malnutrition patients?. Attacks and lootings targeting health facilities in conflict-affected areas in Afar and Amhara are likely, based on similar tactics adopted by parties to the conflict in Tigray?. Shelter needs are likely to increase because of mass displacement. The continuing use of school buildings by IDPs will likely affect the start of the school year in October, disrupting access to education?.

Read this risk

Key Priorities


WASH:10.1 million people need WASH assistance. The most affected populations are in Oromia, Somali, and SNNP regions. Conflict and natural disasters have damaged WASH facilities, resulting in limited access to WASH services for nearly half of the 3.9 million IDPs across Ethiopia.?

Food: As of May, 5.5 million people (61% of the population analysed) in Tigray and neighbouring regions of Afar and Amhara face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or higher levels of acute food insecurity, including 350,000 people in Tigray in Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5), as a result of the ongoing conflict, movement restrictions, and economic decline.?

Health: An estimated 8.8 million people across Ethiopia will need humanitarian health assistance in 2021. Children under five, people living in areas with poor WASH coverage and practices, and women affected by the conflict have the most prominent health needs. ?