• 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

  • 125,343,000 Total population [?]
  • 891,000 People displaced [?]
  • 890,000 People in Need [?]



Ethiopia hosts 876,000 refugees and asylum seekers originating from South Sudan (46%), Somalia (29%), Eritrea (19%), and Sudan (6%). Internal conflict, human rights abuses, and food insecurity are the main drivers of refugee movements from neighbouring countries into Ethiopia. Ethiopia has been welcoming Eritrean, Sudanese, and Somalian refugees since the mid-1990s, with more recent arrivals from South Sudan. In 2018, there was a significant influx in the number of Eritrean refugees after a signed peace deal ended a two-decade state of war between Ethiopia and Eritrea. The border was opened for the first time in 20 years.?

Most refugees live in camp settings in Afar, Benishangul Gumuz, Gambela, Somali, and Tigray regions. There is also a large group of refugees in the capital city of Addis Ababa. The Eritrean refugee population in Addis Ababa nearly doubled in 2021 (from 36,000 in January to over 71,000 in May), with Eritrean refugees in Tigray fleeing the conflict in northern Ethiopia after conflict destroyed two of the four camps in Tigray (i.e. Hitsats and Shimelba camps). 18,000 refugees are estimated to be living in the remaining two (Mai Aini and Adi Harush camps). Conflict has also affected refugee camps in Benishangul Gumuz, limiting humanitarian access. The drought situation is also affecting refugees from Somalia in Somali region. The registration of new arrivals and suspension of documentation activities by the Refugee and Returnee Service since November 2021 has had implications on the understanding of the refugee situation across the country, as well as on people’s ability to access assistance. ?

Latest Developments


Intensified conflict in Sudan since mid-April 2023 has displaced over 31,000 people to Ethiopia through the Metema border point in Amhara. Most of those displaced are Ethiopian returnees, with Sudan being home to around 73,000 refugees from Ethiopia as at 25 May 2023. Those displaced are primarily living in makeshift shelters near the border and require assistance in the form of food, shelter, water, sanitation, medical supplies, and NFIs.?

Key Priorities


Food: refugees in Ethiopia were receiving only 60% of the minimum standard daily food ration of 2,100kcal per person, keeping the global acute malnutrition rate in most refugee camps above the emergency threshold.?

Protection: internal conflict has been affecting refugees across Ethiopia, leading to secondary displacement and limiting access to assistance. The suspension of registration activities has meant that refugees lack documentation and are unable to access exit permits, family reunification services, and work opportunities. An unknown number remains unregistered.?

WASH: access to water differs across refugee camps in Ethiopia, with interruptions in distribution occurring regularly. Open defecation is widespread in camps given the lack of latrines, increasing the risk of communicable diseases.?

Shelter: only 46% of camp-based refugee households have adequate shelter. Access to appropriate housing conditions remains below the standard in all refugee camps across Ethiopia.?