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Close to one million people displaced in Ethiopia as violence continues

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  • Ireland contributes an additional €3.4 million to the Ethiopia Humanitarian Fund


  • Affected population 7.95 m
  • MAM 4.16m
  • SAM 370,000
  • # of people displaced due to conflict 2.2 m # of people displaced due to climatic shocks 0.5 m


  • US$1.494 billion Requirement for the 2nd half of 2018 Ethiopia Humanitarian and Disaster Resilience Plan
  • Funding shortfall: US$478 million

Ireland contributes an additional €3.4 million to the Ethiopia Humanitarian Fund (EHF)

On 19 November 2018, Ms. Sonija Hyland, Ambassador of Ireland to Ethiopia, and Mr.
Aeneas Chuma, the UN Humanitarian/Resident Coordinator (a.i.) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for Ireland’s additional contribution of €3.4 million to the Ethiopia Humanitarian Fund (EHF), the OCHA - managed pooled fund. This additional funding brings Ireland’s total contribution to EHF to €7.9 million this year, the largest ever annual support to the EHF from Ireland. Ireland, the fourth largest donor to EHF in 2018, has been supporting the pooled fund every year since 2011. During the signing ceremony, the Humanitarian/Resident Coordinator appreciated Ireland’s commitment to address critical humanitarian needs in the country through sustained funding made to respond to the needs identified in the annual Humanitarian and Disaster Resilience Plan (HDRP). Mr. Chuma also acknowledged the key coordination role Ireland has been playing as a co-chair of the Humanitarian Resilience Donors Group (HDRG) as well as the strong links with the Ethiopian Humanitarian Country Team (EHCT) and other coordination platforms. Ireland has also served as a donor representative on the EHF advisory board since 2016.

The EHF received US$77.8 million from six donors so far this year, including from the United Kingdom, Germany, United States of America, Ireland, Sweden, and Switzerland. The EHF made three allocations in 2018, allotting $61 million, supporting more than 100 multi-sector projects in health, nutrition, WaSH, Agriculture, Education, Protection and NFIs implemented by INGOs and UN agencies. The Fund started the year processing a bridging allocation of $11.35 million in late November 2017, supporting 14 projects. Two standard allocations are finalized for $38.8 million, supporting 73 projects and a third allocation (Reserve) for $30 million is being finalized.

2018 Ethiopia Humanitarian Appeal underfunded

As of 31 October 2018, the funding status for the 2018 Ethiopia Humanitarian and Disaster Resilience Plan (HDRP) Mid-Year Review is at 68 per cent. From the total requirement of US$1.494 billion identified in the HDRP to address critical humanitarian needs of close to 8 million people, Government and partners were able to mobilize some $1.016 million (excluding pledges), leaving a gap of $478 million for the year. From the total amount, $559 million was raised by international partners, $342 million by Government and $215 million was carried over from the 2017 humanitarian response. An additional $111 million was pledged towards the Appeal. While the Food ($708 million from the planned $751 million) and Nutrition ($168 million from the planned $218) sectors were well funded, other sectors were mostly funded at below 30 per cent. Pillar 1 (Prevention and Mitigation) and Pillar 3 (National Systems Strengthening and Recovery) of the Appeal received almost no funding.

Government and partners need to advocate for increased funding for the 2019 response, as needs are anticipated to remain high in the country. At present, the 2018 Government-led multi-agency needs assessment is ongoing (from 17 November to 15 December) in all regions. The assessment will take stock of the performance of the kiremt (summer) rains on harvest in cropping areas and the performance of the short seasonal deyr/hagaya (autumn) rains in the lowland areas of south and southeastern Ethiopia. The result of the assessment will help determine the humanitarian requirements for Ethiopia in 2019.
Funding shortfall remains a challenge for Government and partners’s humanitarian, as well as durable solutions efforts.

Reports of new displacement continue amidst remarkable political and human rights reforms in Ethiopia

An inter-communal violence that started on 13 April and continued through June 2018 along the borders of Gedeo (SNNPR) and West Guji (Oromia region) zones had displaced close to one million people. About 142,000 people were displaced in Somali region immediately after the 4 August 2018 inter-communal violence in Jijiga between ethnic Somalis and highlanders residing in the town. More recently, an estimated 240,000 people were displaced from Benishangul Gumuz region due to the unprecedented inter-communal violence in Kamashi zone on 26 September. Despite the deployment of federal security forces to quell the violence, reports of conflict continue to this day.

Similarly, on 12 November 2018, renewed violence between the Gebra and Garre communities left some 15, 000 people displaced in Moyale town, a Town that belongs to both Oromia and Somali regions.

Government and partners are providing assistance to Gedeo-Guji IDPs in both displacement areas and in areas of return, but funding gap remains a huge challenge. Government provided limited assistance to Benishangul Gumuz IDPs due to continued clashes and international humanitarian partners are preparing a response plan that would help them scale up response as the security situation improves.

On a positive note, the Government of Ethiopia has been putting in place political, economic and human rights reforms since the change of leadership in April 2018, and rapid and remarkable results were achieved so far.

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