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There are over 924,000 refugees and asylum seekers residing in Ethiopia. A majority of the displaced people originate from South Sudan, Somalia and Eritrea.

9 Million

An estimated 9 million people across Ethiopia’s Tigray, Afar and Amhara regions need food aid. Nearly 40% of people in the Tigray region are suffering from an extreme lack of food.

3.5 Million

3.5 million people are internally displaced in Ethiopia; 1.2 million people were internally displaced in just the first half of 2021.

About the Tigray Crisis in Ethiopia

Ethiopia is the third largest refugee hosting country in Africa, home to over 924,000 refugees and asylum seekers—mainly from South Sudan, Somalia and Eritrea. In November 2020, armed conflict broke out between the Ethiopian government and a regional rebel force, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF). The ongoing conflict killed thousands and internally displaced millions of Ethiopians. An estimated 59,000 people fled Ethiopia finding refuge in eastern Sudan.

After more than a year of conflict, millions of Ethiopians are still in desperate need of humanitarian aid and protection. An estimated 9 million people across Ethiopia’s conflict-stricken regions of Tigray, Afar and Amhara lack access to adequate food. In Tigray, nearly 40 percent of the population is suffering from an extreme lack of food. In addition to severe food insecurity, gender-based violence has increased significantly but women and children lack access to proper healthcare, social welfare and justice services.


As the conflict continues in the Tigray region, international NGOs and aid groups face difficulties in delivering critical humanitarian aid and vital services. A shortage of fuel, supplies and cash has forced several aid groups to reduce or cancel distributions of food, water and medicine.


Aid urgently needed for Ethiopians streaming into Sudan

How to Help in Ethiopia

UNHCR is on the ground aiding Ethiopian refugees and the forcibly displaced, but resources are stretched too thin. Your gift will offer hope for a safe future.

What is UNHCR doing to help in Ethiopia?

The UN Refugee Agency is working alongside the government of Ethiopia and local partners to provide humanitarian assistance and protection to millions of refugees, internally displaced people and host communities. Emergency shelters, food, potable water and relief items including blankets, sleeping mats and more are being distributed to women, children and men escaping from Tigray.

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, UNHCR is working with partners to provide critical healthcare and sanitation services. UNHCR is implementing measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in refugee camps, providing PPE and sanitation materials, and facilitating health check-ups and vaccinations for refugees. To address the need for clean water and sanitation, an average of 18 liters of water person/day is provided across all camps. Hand-washing facilities, water and soap are provided as well to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

UNHCR needs your support to continue its lifesaving assistance of millions of refugees and internally displaced people in Ethiopia. Due to the ongoing conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, hundreds continue to be displaced each month and are in desperate need of humanitarian aid and assistance. Support from donors will ensure UNHCR has the capacity to continue assisting the most vulnerable people in Ethiopia.

Learn more about What We Do.

Ethiopia Refugee Camps and Settlements

Living Situations

Access to adequate shelter remains below the standard with only 46 percent of the camp-based refugee families living in adequate dwelling.


In 2021, two major refugee camps for Eritreans located in Tigray, Shimelba and Hitsats, were abandoned. Prior to being looted and destroyed, the camps housed some 20,000 Eritrean refugees. 


Over 100 people, including children, were killed in the beginning of 2022 after a series of air strikes struck camps in Tigray. 

Other Emergencies