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Tigray region humanitarian assistance
In Ethiopia's Tigray region, 5.2 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance. USAID is providing life-saving aid, including more than 206,000 metric tons of food.
Catholic Relief Services

Key Developments

Bureaucratic impediments and heightened levels of insecurity continue to limit humanitarian access to northern Ethiopia, particularly to Tigray. No convoys carrying humanitarian aid reached Tigray’s capital city of Mekele between December 15 and 30, exacerbating the already dire need for assistance.

Conflict continues to result in widespread displacement across Afar, Amhara, and Tigray, generating urgent humanitarian needs.

Ethiopia is projected to face record levels of food insecurity during 2022, with the greatest needs concentrated in conflict-affected areas of northern Ethiopia. Insecurity and a critical shortage of supplies and fuel continue to hinder food assistance.

Complex Emergency

The food emergency in Ethiopia is projected to persist through January 2022 due to conflict, drought conditions, and poor macroeconomic conditions.

Conflict, insecurity, and extreme weather continue to generate population displacement, with an estimated 4.2 million people displaced across Ethiopia as of July.

Desert locust breeding is underway in northern Ethiopia, with locust swarms expected to migrate northward and eastward to nearby regions and countries in October.

With USAID Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance support, the Catholic Relief Service-led Joint Emergency Operation Program reached more than 3.3 million individuals with food assistance and World Food Program distributed nearly 276,000 metric tons of food assistance from May to September.


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.


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Last updated: January 13, 2022

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