• 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 [?]
  • 6,766,000 People displaced [?]
  • 23,500,000 People in Need [?]
  • 17,150,000 Severe humanitarian conditions - Level 4 [?]

Special Reports


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 4.23 million people are living in displacement across Ethiopia as at September 2021. Ethiopia hosts more than 817,000 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. 1.5 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 northern Ethiopia, ongoing conflict has resulted in the displacement of more than 2.1 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 6.8/10. The lack of coping capacity stands at 6.8/10 and vulnerability at 6.4/10. ?

Latest Developments


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

Humanitarian Access


EXTREME constraints

Humanitarian access continues to be extremely restricted, particularly because insecurity and bureaucratic obstacles persist in northern Ethiopia.* Since 2 November, a six-month nationwide state of emergency has been in place, but its implications on humanitarian access are still unknown. The security of aid workers, along with anti-UN and humanitarian sentiments, is an increasing concern, especially following the Government’s suspension of several international humanitarian organisations in August, the expulsion of UN officials on 30 September, and the arrest of UN staff and contracted drivers in November.

Despite improvements in access within the Tigray region since July, physical access into Tigray has been severely limited since the last access report, and there is only one accessible road for the transportation of humanitarian cargo. Truck movement has been sporadic because of insecurity and bureaucratic issues. Aid supplies, including fuel and cash needed for humanitarian operations, have been frequently blocked. In late October, the limited humanitarian flights between Addis Ababa and Mekele facilitating staff movement were temporarily suspended until late November. Electricity, communication, and banking services in the region are non-functional. Essential services are largely unavailable or limited.

Since July, the conflict has spread to Afar and Amhara, where insecurity and communication blackouts increasingly affect access, including to newly displaced people. Conflicts unrelated to the northern Ethiopia crisis also limit access in other parts of the country, particularly in the Benishangul Gumuz and Oromia regions.

* Since mid-October, fighting in northern Ethiopia has been intensifying, resulting in a volatile and unpredictable security and access situation. Developments since November could not be considered in this report.

Read more in the latest ACAPS Humanitarian Access Overview.


Resource-based clashes because of continuing drought increase insecurity and conflict displacement in Oromia and Somali regions Latest update: 25/03/2022


Highly unlikely Somewhat likely Highly likely


Very low Moderate Major


Drought is affecting at least 2.8 million people in Oromia and 2.3 million people in Somali.? More than 1.5 million livestock died between November 2021 and March 2022 in both regions.? Families continue to migrate with their livestock in search of water, food, and pasture.? Food insecurity will likely increase during the current lean season between February–April. If the March– May rainy season is below average as forecasted (making it the fourth below-average rainy season in a row), the situation would further deteriorate.? Crop failures, harvest loss, and massive livestock deaths are likely, leading to a depletion of food and livelihood sources.

Food and water shortages and the exhaustion of coping strategies, such as using savings, selling livestock, and livestock migration for grazing, will likely result in increased competition over limited land and water resources and sporadic clashes. Within neighbouring Somalia and Kenya, which are also affected by the same drought, conflict over resources has recently increased between pastoralists and resulted in fatalities and displacement.? The scarcity of grazing, food, and water resources has also been intensifying clashes between pastoralist communities in southern Ethiopia since the 1990s.? While grazing areas are usually shared with neighbours from other kebeles (the smallest administrative unit in Ethiopia) and sometimes neighbouring countries without conflict, there have been conflicts among Oromia and Somali pastoralists.? A prolonged drought between 2016–2017 aggravated pre-existing border disputes, put pressure on pasture and resources, and contributed to conflict and displacement.? In Oromia and Somali, continued periods of drought leading to the depletion of resources, combined with pre-existing intercommunal tensions, will likely aggravate insecurity.


A lack of water and pasture will drive people to cross the regional border in search of land and water, increasing the risk of cattle-looting and clashes because of pre-existing ethnic tensions. There will also be increased competition over resources. In 2016–2018, conflict between Oromo and Somali displaced around one million people.? Although drought did not trigger the conflict, new resource-based clashes between the two groups are at risk of reaching similar levels of conflict. Such an escalation could result in a similar level of displacement. If fighting erupts over the next six months, there would possibly be 500,000–600,000 additional IDPs within the two regions. Clashes may remain localised or possibly spread to neighbouring woredas (the third-level administrative division in Ethiopia) because of ethnic ties.? 

Women caught in clashes may be exposed to sexual assaults and require protection services.? Emergency shelter needs, already increased because of drought-driven displacement, would further increase if resource-related clashes newly displace people. Insecurity and displacement, combined with the deterioration caused by drought, will likely result in the disruption of the livelihood activities of pastoralists and farmers, followed by crop failures and livestock deaths, all of which would reduce households’ purchasing power.

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. ?

Insecurity in Benishangul Gumuz region


Violence and insecurity in Benishangul Gumuz region caused by several conflicts have resulted in increased displacement, insecurity, civilian casualties, and access constraints for humanitarian organisations, particularly in Metekel and Kemashi zones. In Metekel zone, conflict intensified in January 2021 and has since spread to Asosa and Kemashi zones and to the Mao Komo Special woreda. IDP figures are difficult to verify because of access constraints. As at early 2022, regional authorities estimated that close to half the region’s population (over 400,000 people) has been displaced across Asosa, Kemashi, and Metekel zones. Over 140,000 people have been displaced to Amhara and Oromia regions. Some IDPs are staying in inaccessible rural areas in Metekel. IDP needs include food, water, health, emergency shelter, and NFIs, as well as critical nutrition interventions. The 70,000 refugees from Sudan and South Sudan living in the region are also affected by insecurity. In February 2022, violence spread to two camps in Mao Komo Special woreda, and 20,000 refugees were secondarily displaced to Asosa town. An alternative camp has been established to host them. Insecurity limits people’s movement and access to public services, which have been suspended in many rural areas. An unknown number of health centres, schools, and infrastructure have been damaged or destroyed.?