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Ethiopia Country Office - Humanitarian Situation Report ( January – December 2020)

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Situation in Numbers

4,872,000 children in need of humanitarian assistance

8,400,000 people in need (Humanitarian Response Plan 2020)

1,846,551 internally displaced people (IOM, Displacement Tracking Matrix 23)

802,821 registered refugees (UNHCR, 31 December 2020)

1,102,484 people affected by floods (FEWSNET, December 2020)


• Over the course of 2020, the number of children in need of humanitarian assistance increased from 4.87 million to 10.3 million (Humanitarian Response Plan Mid-Year Review). Flooding, cholera, COVID-19, locust infestation, and conflict-induced displacement drove humanitarian needs as evidenced by the increase in the number of children in need of humanitarian assistance with significant impact on children’s health, vulnerability to violence and educational attainment. The community transmission of COVID-19 has increased the overall vulnerability of the population, stalling the delivery of essential life-saving services, impacting livelihoods and increasing the cost of service delivery, including critical humanitarian assistance.

• With UNICEF support, over 1 million people (Internally Displaced Persons/IDPs and IDP returnees) have gained access to a sufficient quantity of safe water for drinking, cooking and personal hygiene; while 401,814 children (8,720 refugees) have been treated for Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM), and mobile health and nutrition teams have reached 463,766 IDPs in hard-to-reach areas in Afar and Somali regions. Another 130,994 people (all IDP/IDP returnees) have benefitted from Gender-Based Violence (GBV) risk mitigation and response interventions, while over 400,000 individuals have received cash transfer support to mitigate the effects of emergencies across several regions. A total of 180,917 children (all IDP/IDP returnees) were able to access formal and non-formal education services.

Funding Overview and Partnerships

UNICEF in Ethiopia appealed for US$139 million in 2020 with the aim of providing life-saving humanitarian assistance to children and women in need. The Humanitarian Action for Children (HAC) had not included in 2020 our COVID response, for which we had a separate appeal of US$49 million. UNICEF Ethiopia’s financial contributors to the 2020 HAC comprised of the Government of Canada, the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), the Foreign,
Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), the Government of Japan, the United Nations Office of the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), the Office of United States Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Food For Peace (FFP). With the generous contributions from its donors (see Figure 1 below), UNICEF, together with its partners has been able to achieve considerable results for the most vulnerable, and often hard-to-reach children and women. UNICEF expresses its sincere gratitude to the above Governments, people and institutions. However, at the end of 2020, the HAC appeal had a funding gap of US$69 million or 49 per cent1 . This gap was largely in education (95 per cent) and social protection (63 per cent) which meant that around half of the targeted children or 179,671, could not access formal and non-formal education, while 990,775 individuals were not reached through cash transfer support.

In terms of lessons learnt, while concurrent emergencies in Ethiopia in 2020 resulted in a large opportunity for resource mobilization, much of the funds were earmarked for specific sectors such as nutrition. This resulted in very little funding granted for education for IDPs/refugees in emergencies and significant gaps in the IDP response for WASH and health were also encountered.