Ethiopia Water
In Ethiopia, women and girls may have to walk hours or days to find clean drinking water for their households. USAID rehabilitates water points, supplying life-saving access to clean drinking water to drought-affected households.
Kelley Lynch

Latest Ethiopia Fact Sheet

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Key Developments

In mid-March, the International Organization for Migration reported that more than 1.7 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) were sheltering across Ethiopia, primarily due to conflict and prolonged drought conditions. During April, clashes near the regional border between Oromiya and Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples regions resulted in large-scale population displacement, according to the UN.

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network reports that IDPs and host community members in Somali Region continue to experience severe levels of acute food insecurity due to consecutive seasons of drought and significant livestock losses. Affected households require sustained levels of emergency assistance to prevent extreme food insecurity, acute malnutrition, and excess mortality.

With nearly $633 million in FY 2017–2018 funding, U.S. Government partners continue to deliver life-saving emergency assistance across Ethiopia to IDPs and vulnerable populations affected by conflict, drought, and acute food insecurity.

USAID's Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) is responding to the complex emergency in the Horn of Africa region, including in EthiopiaKenya, and Somalia

Please visit our Horn of Africa web page for additional information.


Ethiopia is experiencing its second severe drought in less than two years. Insufficient rainfall during the 2017 rainy season has led to severe water shortages, catastrophic livestock losses, and failed crops throughout the country. The drought in southern Ethiopia comes as the country’s north and central highland communities continue to recover from a severe drought in 2016 triggered by multiple consecutive seasons of below-average rainfall and the effects of the 2015/2016 El Niño climatic event. In August 2017, the Government of Ethiopia estimated that 8.5 million people in the country would require humanitarian assistance through December, primarily due to increased drought-related needs in southern and southeastern parts of Ethiopia.

In addition to drought, populations across Ethiopia face other challenges that contribute to sustained humanitarian needs and an ongoing complex emergency—including above-average food prices, disease outbreaks, localized intercommunal conflict, seasonal flooding, and limited access to health and water, sanitation, and hygiene services.


Last updated: June 18, 2018

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