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There are more than 930,000 refugees and asylum seekers residing in Ethiopia. A majority of the displaced people originate from South Sudan, Somalia and Eritrea (as of July 2023).

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.

3.1 Million

3.1 million people are internally displaced in Ethiopia (as of May 2023).

About the Tigray Crisis in Ethiopia

Ethiopia is the third largest refugee hosting country in Africa, home to more than 930,000 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 conflict killed thousands and internally displaced millions of Ethiopians. After two years of conflict, a peace deal was signed in November 2022.

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.

In the first few weeks of 2023, close to 100,000 refugees from Somalia arrived in remote, drought-affected areas of Ethiopia after fleeing conflict in the city of Laascaanood. Most are women, children – many of them unaccompanied – or elderly. The refugees are arriving in remote areas heavily affected by drought, and while many refugees are being hosted by Ethiopian families in their homes, others are seeking shelter in overcrowded shelters or sleeping outdoors. They urgently need food, nutrition screening, water, shelter, medical care and relief items.


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. UNHCR has scaled up critical assistance to affected populations who lost everything during the conflict and is working with the government to ensure displaced communities are included in national development plans, and to create an integrated assistance program that supports both refugees and host communities.

UNHCR is also coordinating the provision of healthcare with government partners and enrolling women and children in public universities and schools in coordination with the government and World Bank. Recognizing the need for long-term sustainability, UNHCR continues to expand access to alternative cooking fuels and solar power for healthcare centers.

UNHCR needs your support to continue its lifesaving assistance of millions of refugees and internally displaced people in Ethiopia. Due to the recent unrest in Sudan and Somalia, tens of thousands of refugees have fled to Ethiopia 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

More Facts About the Crisis in Ethiopia

  • In the first three months of 2023, UNHCR provided nearly 267,000 individuals with emergency shelter and non-food item assistance, including around 1,350 IDP returnees who received cash assistance to rebuild their homes.
  • Despite scarce local resources, host communities across the Ethiopia's Doolo Zone have opened their doors to around 80 percent of the entire displaced population from Somalia.
  • Ongoing drought in Ethiopia, compounded by failed rainy seasons across the past five years and the war in Ukraine, has severely increased the risk of malnutrition among women and children.

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