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

Since the Government of Ethiopia (GoE) commenced returns of internally displaced persons (IDPs) to their original areas of residence in early May, some IDPs have again relocated to new or previous areas of displacement due to destroyed housing, disrupted livelihoods, limited humanitarian assistance, and ongoing conflict-related risks in their original locations, relief actors report. As of July, approximately 1.6 million people remained displaced across Ethiopia, a reduction of nearly 600,000 IDPs since May, according to the International Organization for Migration.

The U.S. Government remains the largest humanitarian donor to Ethiopia, providing nearly $496 million in FY 2019 support for relief efforts in the country. As of late September, international donors had contributed more than $617 million toward the humanitarian response in 2019, while the GoE had contributed nearly $72 million.


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: November 13, 2019

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