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Country analysis

Ethiopia


Ethiopia grapples with multiple humanitarian crises, including drought, floods, conflict, and disease outbreaks. These deepened in 2023 and continue to pose considerable challenges in 2024, including displacement, food insecurity, health deterioration, malnutrition, and the loss of lives and livelihoods. As at September 2023, more than 3.45 million people were displaced across the country. Somali region hosted the highest number overall, the majority of whom were drought-displaced. Tigray hosted the most conflict-induced displacements, who are likely to remain in protracted displacement given disputes around the status of Western zone.

Consecutive years of drought in southern and southeastern Ethiopia have disrupted the livelihoods of farmers and herders, killed livestock, and worsened food insecurity. In 2023, northern Ethiopia also experienced drought, slowing the recovery from the impact of the two-year conflict (2020–2022). In late 2023, irregular rainfall patterns coupled with seasonal rains led to flooding and landslides across much of the south.

Conflict in other regions, such as Amhara, Benishangul Gumuz, Oromia, and other small pockets of the country, continues to displace people, affecting freedom of movement and livelihood activities. Conflict in neighbouring countries, including Sudan, has also led to an influx of refugees, heightening humanitarian needs and straining limited resources.

(OCHA 01/02/2024, CFR 19/12/2023, UNHCR 11/01/2024, OCHA 22/12/2023, IOM 19/01/2024)

Ethiopia grapples with multiple humanitarian crises, including drought, floods, conflict, and disease outbreaks. These deepened in 2023 and continue to pose considerable challenges in 2024, including displacement, food insecurity, health deterioration, malnutrition, and the loss of lives and livelihoods. As at September 2023, more than 3.45 million people were displaced across the country. Somali region hosted the highest number overall, the majority of whom were drought-displaced. Tigray hosted the most conflict-induced displacements, who are likely to remain in protracted displacement given disputes around the status of Western zone.

Consecutive years of drought in southern and southeastern Ethiopia have disrupted the livelihoods of farmers and herders, killed livestock, and worsened food insecurity. In 2023, northern Ethiopia also experienced drought, slowing the recovery from the impact of the two-year conflict (2020–2022). In late 2023, irregular rainfall patterns coupled with seasonal rains led to flooding and landslides across much of the south.

Conflict in other regions, such as Amhara, Benishangul Gumuz, Oromia, and other small pockets of the country, continues to displace people, affecting freedom of movement and livelihood activities. Conflict in neighbouring countries, including Sudan, has also led to an influx of refugees, heightening humanitarian needs and straining limited resources.

(OCHA 01/02/2024, CFR 19/12/2023, UNHCR 11/01/2024, OCHA 22/12/2023, IOM 19/01/2024)

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Latest updates on country situation

18 December 2023

In December 2023, El Niño-induced floods affected around 1.5 million people in various regions of Ethiopia, including Afar, Amhara, Gambela, Oromia, Somali, South Ethiopia region, and South West Ethiopia region. As at 6 December, the floods had displaced over 616,000 people and led to at least 60 fatalities. Many of the displaced have moved to public buildings, such as schools, many of which have been damaged. Other damaged infrastructure includes houses and health facilities. The floods have also resulted in damage to croplands and livestock deaths, significantly affecting people’s livelihoods. Affected people need shelter, food, NFIs, WASH, health, and cash assistance. The Deyr rainy season typically runs from October–December. More rainfall is forecast in South Ethiopia Region, which could worsen the impact of the floods. (OCHA 18/12/2023, Shelter Cluster 12/12/2023)

07 November 2023

Since early November, heavy rainfall in southern and eastern Ethiopia has caused flooding in the Somali Region. As at 7 November, around 20 people have died and more than 12,000 people have been displaced. Livelihoods have been destroyed and critical infrastructure damaged hampering the delivery of aid to those affected.

26 September 2023

As at 16 September 2023, more than 81,000 forcibly displaced people from Sudan had arrived in Amhara, Benishangul Gumuz, and Gambela regions of Ethiopia. The majority were Ethiopian returnees requiring onward transportation. More than 20,000 Sudanese refugees require food, WASH, health, and protection services. Heavy rains are constraining access. (IOM 21/09/2023, UNHCR 15/09/2023)

29 August 2023

As at 29 August 2023, clashes that started in July between regional special forces, including militia allies called Fano, and the Ethiopian National Defense Force had killed at least 183 people in Amhara. Humanitarian access constraints worsen the situation. These constraints include blocked internet access, the on-and-off suspension of flights to conflict-affected areas, and the state of emergency. The exact humanitarian needs are unclear but likely involve protection services, shelter, food, health, and WASH services.
(OHCHR 29/08/2023, AI 18/08/2023, OCHA 22/08/2023)

07 August 2023

On 4 August 2023, the Ethiopian Federal Government declared a six-month state of emergency following intense clashes since 3 August between regional special forces, militia allies called Fano, and the Ethiopian National Defense Forces in Amhara region. The clashes follow a series of protests since 6 April, when the Federal Government announced the need to disband regional forces. Those affected are moving to safer areas in the region, although the conflict and state of emergency declaration have been constraining movements. Roadblocks and communication constraints resulting from internet suspension have also led to humanitarian access constraints. Cholera cases have been increasing in the region, and the constraints might further limit health services for both residents and those displaced from the conflict in Sudan since Amhara remains one of the border crossing points. The humanitarian needs remain unclear but are likely related to shelter, food, protection, health, and WASH services. (ECHO 08/08/2023, Africanews 07/08/2023, OCHA 04/08/2023)

26 July 2023

As at 23 July 2023, Ethiopia had received over 69,900 people through various border crossings from Sudan, including an estimated 33,800 Ethiopian returnees, 21,400 Sudanese, and 14,600 people from other nationalities. Aid workers' activities have been hindered by heavy rains. Onward transportation remains a crucial need, along with food, NFIs, WASH, protection, and health services.
(IOM 26/07/2023, OCHA 02/06/2023)

05 July 2023

As at 4 July 2023, the conflict that started in Sudan in mid-April 2023 has displaced more than 60,000 people to Ethiopia through multiple border crossing points in Amhara, Benishangul Gumuz, and Gambella regions. They include more than 30,600 Ethiopian returnees, over 15,500 Sudanese, and an estimated 13,800 people from 70 different nationalities. Displaced people are living in makeshift shelters near border points as they await transportation to further locations. Their main needs include food, shelter, WASH, protection, medical supplies, onward transportation, and NFIs.

(IOM 05/07/2023, UN News 13/06/2023)

current crises
in Ethiopia


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

ETH005 - Drought

Last updated 31/01/2024


Drivers

Drought

Crisis level

Country

Severity level

3.6 High

Access constraints

2.0

REG014 - Eastern Africa Regional Drought Crisis

Last updated 31/01/2024


Drivers

Drought

Crisis level

Regional

Severity level

4.1 Very High

Access constraints

5.0

ETH004 - Northern Ethiopia Conflict

Last updated 31/01/2024


Drivers

Conflict
Displacement

Crisis level

Country

Severity level

3.9 High

Access constraints

3.0

ETH001 - Complex crisis

Last updated 31/01/2024


Drivers

Displacement
Floods
Conflict

Crisis level

Country

Severity level

4.1 Very High

Access constraints

5.0

ETH003 - International Displacement

Last updated 31/01/2024


Drivers

Displacement

Crisis level

Country

Severity level

3.3 High

Access constraints

4.0

Analysis products
on Ethiopia

Ethiopia: drivers of the cholera outbreak

18 January 2024

Ethiopia: drivers of the cholera outbreak

DOCUMENT / PDF / 1 MB

The report provides an analysis of the drivers of the current cholera outbreak in Ethiopia. It gives a context overview, explains the drivers of the outbreak, and analyses its impact on community members to support humanitarian decision-making for the cholera response.

HealthWASH
Ethiopia: gender analysis on roles and needs in humanitarian crises

02 November 2023

Ethiopia: gender analysis on roles and needs in humanitarian crises

DOCUMENT / PDF / 576 KB

This report considers the impact of conflict and natural hazards on the gender roles and dynamics, as well as gendered activities and needs of Ethiopia’s population. Deep-rooted sociocultural and economic factors define gender relations in Ethiopia, and there is a lack of up-to-date research on how current crises worsen existing disparities. This report can provide a starting point for future in-depth research at the regional level within Ethiopia.

Gender
Ethiopia: the humanitarian information and analysis ecosystem

29 September 2023

Ethiopia: the humanitarian information and analysis ecosystem

DOCUMENT / PDF / 1 MB

This information and analysis ecosystem report looks at the information landscape in Ethiopia, assesses the quality, reliability, and sharing of available humanitarian data; and identifies opportunities to strengthen the information and analysis ecosystem. The report provides a starting point to understanding the information and analysis ecosystem more generally, though topics such as gender and anticipatory analysis warrant additional research.

Ethiopia: Humanitarian situation in Guba woreda, Benishangul Gumuz

30 June 2023

Ethiopia: Humanitarian situation in Guba woreda, Benishangul Gumuz

DOCUMENT / PDF / 377 KB

This report analyses the humanitarian situation in Guba woreda, Metekel zone, Benishangul Gumuz region, to support decision-making in the response to the crisis.

Conflict and violence
Sudan crisis: consequences for Ethiopia

19 May 2023

Sudan crisis: consequences for Ethiopia

DOCUMENT / PDF / 770 KB

Since 15 April 2023, intense fighting has been occurring in the capital Khartoum and other parts of the Sudan. The heavy fighting has resulted in forced displacement into neighbouring countries, including Ethiopia, and will have broader implications for conflict in the region. 

Conflict and violenceMixed migration

Attached resources

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