UNHCR seeks US$205 million to deliver life-saving assistance to over 1.6 million people affected by the northern Ethiopia conflict
04 March 2022
UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is appealing for US$205 million to deliver life-saving assistance and protection to over 1.6 million people displaced due to the conflict in northern Ethiopia.
Sixteen months of conflict in northern Ethiopia has created a humanitarian crisis. Civilians, including refugees and internally displaced people (IDPs) have been displaced, amid widespread reports of gender-based violence, human rights abuses, loss of shelter and access to basic services, and critical levels of food insecurity.
More than 2 million Ethiopians have fled in search of safety within the country, and almost 60,000 across the border into Sudan. Several camps and settlements hosting Eritrean refugees have been attacked or destroyed, further displacing tens of thousands within Ethiopia.
Funds raised will help us to provide essential protection and humanitarian assistance to those impacted by the violence. At least 60,000 IDP households will be assisted with shelter and emergency relief items. We will establish additional protection desks –adding to the more than 60 already set up – to identify people with specific needs and to refer survivors of gender-based violence to services, and we will support the reintegration of 75,000 IDP families, who wish to return to their homes.
We welcome the quick response of the Ethiopian government to identify new sites to settle the displaced refugees, which requires resources. UNHCR will support the government’s Refugees and Returnees Service (RRS) and partners to complete the Alemwach site, in the Amhara region, so that Eritrean refugees can be relocated as soon as it is possible to do so, and to ensure essential services. A new temporary site for Eritrean refugees caught up in the fighting in Afar region is similarly in need of urgent investment. Together with RRS and partners, we are aiming to get 20,000 refugee children back into school.
In eastern Sudan, UNHCR will provide critical protection and assistance to Ethiopian refugees, including by building shelters that are more durable, and strengthening health care and education. Activities to prevent and respond to gender-based violence and to provide psychosocial and mental health support will be scaled up.
UNHCR will also boost preparedness for flooding and extreme weather ahead of the upcoming rainy season. Opportunities to earn an income will be enhanced both for refugees and the communities that host them.
Of the US$205 million, US$117 million will support the needs of Ethiopian IDPs and Eritrean refugees in the Afar, Amhara, and Tigray regions of Ethiopia, while US$72 million will help us support Ethiopian refugees in Sudan. Some US$16 million will be used for preparedness as part of contingency measures for any potential influx into neighbouring countries (Djibouti, Kenya, Somalia and South Sudan).
While UNHCR continues to reinforce its protection and humanitarian assistance, we reiterate our call to all parties of the conflict to protect civilians in line with their obligations under international humanitarian law and to provide safe and unhindered access to all those in need.