• 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

  • 3,028,000 People displaced [?]
  • 8,860,000 People in Need [?]
  • 4,560,000 Severe humanitarian conditions - Level 4 [?]



About eight million people in Ethiopia are in need of humanitarian assistance, largely as a consequence of internal conflict, international displacement, and recurrent natural hazards.? Intercommunal violence escalated dramatically in several regions throughout 2018, resulting in more than 1.3 million new displacements and increasing Ethiopia’s total IDP population to 2.4 million.? Ethiopia also hosts more than 900,000 refugees.? Over 99% of the refugees come from four neighbouring countries: South Sudan, Sudan, Somalia, and Eritrea, and most currently reside in camp settings.?

Humanitarian needs in Ethiopia are significantly impacted by recurrent natural hazards, in particular drought and flooding. 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. Nearly all of Somali regional state, one of the regions most affected by food insecurity, is in IPC Phase 2 (Stressed) and IPC Phase 3 (Crisis).? Nationwide, approximately 7.88 million people continue to require emergency food assistance.?

INFORM measures Ethiopia's risk of humanitarian crisis and disaster as high at 6.9/10. Lack of coping capacity is of particular concern at 7.7/10.?

Latest Developments


Humanitarian access in Gambella region has declined significantly in recent weeks as a result of ongoing violence and insecurity. Most humanitarian agencies in Gambella suspended their operations  after two INGO staff were killed by armed men on 6 September. The attackers were allegedly wearing police uniforms, though their identity and motives have not yet been confirmed. Tit-for-tat violence between the Anuak and Nuer ethnic communities has also increased, with 36 incidents reported in July alone. Some of the recent violence has involved the region’s South Sudanese refugee population. Gambella currently hosts more than 300,000 South Sudanese refugees, who represent nearly half of the region's total population.?

Humanitarian Access



The Ethiopian government has eased some restrictions on civil society groups in recent months, though the activities of humanitarian organisations remain heavily regulated. Some areas, such as Kamashi zone in Benishangul-Gumuz, have seen an escalation of intercommunal violence leading to increased insecurity and humanitarian access being almost completely restricted since September 2018. In Gedeo (SNNPR) and West Guji (Oromia), the government has been accused of barring agencies from providing assistance to IDP populations as a strategy so IDPs will return to their place of origin. There are a number of physical access constraints, particularly in rural areas where transportation infrastructure is relatively underdeveloped. Overall, there is a relative lack of information about humanitarian access in Ethiopia that is reliable and up to date.?

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Escalation and spread of intercommunal violence leads to increased displacement and humanitarian needs

Latest update: 11/06/2019


Highly unlikely Somewhat likely Highly likely


Very low Moderate Major

Conflict-driven displacement increased throughout 2018, bringing the total of IDPs to nearly 3 million, up from 1.1 million at end of 2017 ?. Conflict has continued and there is a significant risk it will increase as a result of at least three factors. First, local elections scheduled for mid-2019 risk inflaming already high intercommunal tensions by spurring competition between different groups for power and resources. Originally scheduled for April 2018, these elections were already postponed due to fears of violence and unrest. ?Additionally, growing demands for autonomy among ethnic minority groups, such as the Sidama and Qemant, pose the risk of local-ised protests leading to violence.? In Sidama zone a proposed referendum to establish Sidama as an independent state sparked large-scale protests in February 2019, and continued clashes between pro-independence and anti-independ-ence factions are likely.? Finally, a breakdown in relations between the government and political opposition groups would likely trigger further violence – particularly in western Ethiopia, where the Oromo Liberation Front clashed with government forces in recent months and was accused of carrying out ethnically motivated attacks, despite formally agreeing in August 2018 to disarm.?


A further spike in intercommunal violence in Ethiopia is likely to lead to large-scale displacement in areas where IDPs are already present, such as Gedeo (SNNPR), west Guji (Oromia region), and Kamashi (Benishangul-Gumuz region) zones, and potentially new areas.

Given that local and international response capacities are already stretched to their limit, it will likely be even more challenging to address the food, shelter, protection, and health needs of newly displaced people.?

Access issues will likely be a concern as certain areas become unsafe due to conflict, and due to government limitations concerning the areas where humanitarians are allowed to operate. At present, humanitarian access is almost completely restricted in many of the areas that have experienced the most intense intercommunal conflict, such as Dawa zone (Somali region), Gedeo zone, and Guji zone.?

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Key Priorities


WASH: 8.2 million people were in need of wash assistance in Ethiopia as of October, an increase from 6.9 million people in January 2018. Hygiene and sanitation facilities in the Oromia and Somali regions as well as in the SNNP and Oromia regions are particularly limited because of insecurity.?

Food: 7.9 million Ethiopians need food assistance. Areas of highest food insecurity include eastern Somali Region, border pastoral areas of Oromia (parts of Guji and Borena) and Somali regions, parts of East and West Hararghe in Oromia, and West Guji of Oromia and Gedeo of SNNP Region. Crisis (IPC 3) is projected to continue in these areas until January 2019, also due to recent conflicts.?

Health: 7.5 million people are in need of health assistance. New IDP arrivals displaced due to the Gedeo-Guji conflict since early June 2018 have stretched the health service capacity in the region, which was already inadequate due to prior displacement. Also, in the area of Jijica (Somali region), hospitals and health facilities were abandoned as health workers fled to escape insecurity. AWD/cholera, measles, yellow fever and dengue fever are the main communicable diseases in Ethiopia.?

Information Gaps and Needs


Lack of access has resulted in very limited information on many hard-to-reach areas and areas where clashes continue.