• Crisis Severity ?
    4.6
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Impact ?
    4.5
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Humanitarian Conditions ?
    5.0
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Complexity ?
    3.9
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Access Constraints ?
    4.0
    No constraints
    Extreme constraints

Key figures

  • 120,900,000 Total population [?]
  • 6,747,000 People displaced [?]
  • 23,500,000 People in Need [?]
  • 17,150,000 Severe humanitarian conditions - Level 4 [?]

Special Reports

26/01/2022

Special Reports

17/11/2021

Special Reports

04/11/2021

Overview

03/08/2022

According to the latest Humanitarian Response Plan, more than 20 million people in Ethiopia are in need of humanitarian assistance as a result of internal conflict, displacement, and recurrent natural hazards. As at February 2022, there were over 4.5 million people displaced (with the main driver being conflict, followed by drought) and over 2.8 million IDP returnees across Ethiopia. The country hosts more than 870,000 refugees from South Sudan, Somalia, Eritrea, and Sudan. Most of them have been living in camp settings in Benishangul Gumuz, Gambela, and Somali regions and the city of Addis Ababa.?

Recurrent natural hazards, primarily drought and flooding, result in humanitarian needs. Several consecutive years of drought and a record fourth consecutive below-average rainfall in southern and southeastern Ethiopia have disrupted the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of farmers and herders, resulted in the death of livestock, and led to a worsening food security situation. Emergency (IPC Phase 4) food insecurity is expected in drought-affected areas, including parts of Oromia, Somali, Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ (SNNP) region, and South West Ethiopia Peoples’ (or South West) region.

In northern Ethiopia, conflict has resulted in mass displacement and high levels of humanitarian need, with issues including food insecurity, increased malnutrition rates, and overcrowded collective centres. Conflict has largely subsided in Tigray since December 2021, but the situation remains highly volatile, with insecurity still recorded along the Tigray-Eritrea border and the Afar and Amhara regional borders. Mass returns of IDPs to their areas of origin are being recorded in Afar and Amhara. Resource constraints and limited coordination continue to restrict the ability to upscale humanitarian services, keeping humanitarian needs high.

Conflict in other regions, such as Benishangul Gumuz (particularly Metekel and Kemashi zones) and Oromia (including Wellega and Guji zones), continues to affect people’s freedom of movement and livelihood activities. The situation has resulted in mass displacement and subsequent humanitarian needs. The needs of IDPs have largely remained unmet because of the volatile security situation and major humanitarian access constraints. ?

INFORM ranks Ethiopia’s risk of humanitarian crisis and disaster as very high at 6.8/10. The lack of coping capacity stands at 6.8/10 and vulnerability at 6.4/10.?

Latest Developments

21/09/2022

Renewed fighting between Tigrayan forces and ENDF and its allies since 24 August is affecting people across northern Ethiopia, including in Amhara region. On 6 September, regional authorities established at least six collective sites in Mersa Town, North Wello Zone, to accommodate an increasing number of IDPs. At least 12,000 newly displaced people from Woldiya city sought refuge in sites and host communities in Mersa Town, the majority being women and children.They need protection, shelter, food, and NFIs. ?

Humanitarian Access

07/07/2022

very high constraints

Ethiopia faced Very High humanitarian access constraints in the past six months, scoring 4/5 in ACAPS Humanitarian Access Index. The humanitarian access situation has been improving because a humanitarian truce was declared as of late March 2022, to facilitate the entry of humanitarian convoys into Tigray region. Despite an increase in the number of humanitarian convoys entering, humanitarian aid, fuel and staff movement remain restricted. Conflict in Afar and Amhara has largely subsided since the end of March, allowing for better humanitarian access, but the security situation along the regional borders areas remains volatile.  

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

Risk

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

Probability

Highly unlikely Somewhat likely Highly likely

Impact

Very low Moderate Major

RATIONALE

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.

IMPACT

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

03/08/2022

Food: food remains a priority need across the country, particularly in northern Ethiopia, but access constraints have limited the understanding of the severity of the situation. There has been no IPC assessment conducted in the country since June 2021, making it difficult to estimate food insecurity levels. Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5) food insecurity is highly likely in parts of Afar, Amhara, and Tigray. Recent food distributions in northern Ethiopia have likely improved food security for those who can access distribution points. In drought-affected areas, more than 7.2 million people need food assistance. ?

WASH: over 4.4 million people in drought-affected areas need water, with the worst-affected areas located in Oromia, SNNP, and Somali regions. Conflict and natural disasters have also damaged WASH facilities, resulting in limited access to WASH services. ?

Health: health needs remain a priority given the impact of conflict and drought. People in need of healthcare have not had access to health services because of major access constraints and the destruction of health infrastructure.?

Insecurity in Benishangul Gumuz region

03/08/2022

Disagreements over land rights, resources, and power between different ethnic groups have been a major driver of conflict in the region, including in Metekel and Kemashi zones. Violence and insecurity have resulted in increased displacement, insecurity, civilian casualties, and access constraints for humanitarian organisations. In January 2021, conflict intensified in Metekel zone and eventually spread to Asosa and Kemashi zones and Mao Komo Special woreda. IDP figures are difficult to verify because of access constraints. IDP needs include food, water, health, emergency shelter, and NFIs, as well as critical nutrition interventions. Insecurity also affects the 70,000 refugees from Sudan and South Sudan living in the region. It limits people’s movement and access to public services, which have been suspended in many rural areas. Conflict has also damaged or destroyed an unknown number of health centres, schools, and infrastructure.?

INSECURITY IN OROMIA REGION

03/08/2022

Oromia experiences protracted conflict, which has led to mass displacement and migration, property destruction, the loss of livelihoods and assets, and strained access to basic services resulting from damages to public facilities during conflict. There is often conflicting information from local, zonal, regional, and federal sources on the severity of needs, especially with regard to food insecurity. It is also difficult to distinguish the extent to which needs are driven by conflict rather than drought or the restriction of services. There are conflict hotspots in the west and southern parts of the region (Wellega and West Guji zones) linked with the Oromo Liberation Army and counter-insurgency campaigns by the Federal Government, as well as intercommunal conflict in eastern Oromia (East and West Hararge). Insecurity led to the deterioration of access in 2021 and continues to be a major barrier to providing humanitarian assistance. ?