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Country analysis

Eritrea


The Eritrean Government significantly restricts humanitarian access, resulting in limited information on humanitarian needs in the country. Human rights violations, including arbitrary detention, indefinite national/military service, and extrajudicial killings have been reported and drive international displacement. As at mid-2023, there were nearly 537,000 Eritrean refugees and asylum seekers abroad, with many taking refuge in Ethiopia and Sudan.

High tensions between Eritrea and neighbouring Djibouti, Ethiopia, and Sudan have previously escalated into armed conflict. War between Eritrea and Ethiopia from 1998–2000 resulted in an estimated 70,000 deaths and high levels of international displacement. Tensions remained high between the two countries until their governments signed the Joint Declaration of Peace and Friendship in July 2018. During the Tigray war in Ethiopia, from December 2020 until December 2022, Eritrean troops took an active military stance against the Tigray People's Liberation Front.

Eritrea is subject to natural hazards, including cyclical drought, flooding during rainy seasons, and earthquakes. The high frequency of these hazards leaves little recovery time for affected people. In recent years, the country’s climatic conditions have put a strain on the coping capacities of the population, which is largely dependent (80%) on subsistence agriculture.

(UNHCR accessed 09/02/2024, OHCHR 26/06/2018, UNICEF 22/02/2023, BBC 18/04/2023, ICG accessed 15/03/2023)

The Eritrean Government significantly restricts humanitarian access, resulting in limited information on humanitarian needs in the country. Human rights violations, including arbitrary detention, indefinite national/military service, and extrajudicial killings have been reported and drive international displacement. As at mid-2023, there were nearly 537,000 Eritrean refugees and asylum seekers abroad, with many taking refuge in Ethiopia and Sudan.

High tensions between Eritrea and neighbouring Djibouti, Ethiopia, and Sudan have previously escalated into armed conflict. War between Eritrea and Ethiopia from 1998–2000 resulted in an estimated 70,000 deaths and high levels of international displacement. Tensions remained high between the two countries until their governments signed the Joint Declaration of Peace and Friendship in July 2018. During the Tigray war in Ethiopia, from December 2020 until December 2022, Eritrean troops took an active military stance against the Tigray People's Liberation Front.

Eritrea is subject to natural hazards, including cyclical drought, flooding during rainy seasons, and earthquakes. The high frequency of these hazards leaves little recovery time for affected people. In recent years, the country’s climatic conditions have put a strain on the coping capacities of the population, which is largely dependent (80%) on subsistence agriculture.

(UNHCR accessed 09/02/2024, OHCHR 26/06/2018, UNICEF 22/02/2023, BBC 18/04/2023, ICG accessed 15/03/2023)

current crises
in Eritrea


These crises have been identified through the INFORM Severity Index, a tool for measuring and comparing the severity of humanitarian crises globally.

Read more about the Index

ERI001 - Complex crisis

Last updated 30/01/2024


Drivers

Socio-political
Displacement

Crisis level

Country

Severity level

3.6 High

Access constraints

3.0