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UNHCR Operational Update, December 2022

Ethiopia is the third largest refugee hosting country in Africa, generously sheltering over 880,000 refugees, mainly from South Sudan, Somalia, Eritrea and Sudan. The majority are women and children who need special care and attention.

UNHCR is a key partner in the government-led Inter-Agency response to the plight of IDPs, leading the Protection and co-leading the Camp Coordination & Camp Management (CCCM) Clusters. UNHCR is also active in the Shelter/NFI, Logistics and Health Clusters.

UNHCR is supporting people affected by conflict & the worst drought in 40 years. It’s also helping the government & communities to build resilience against natural hazards, such as recurrent droughts and flooding.


2.5M IDPs reached with protection & multifaceted assistance in 2022.

180,000 refugees are attending pre-primary, primary, secondary, and tertiary education.

50,000 IDPs in Northern Ethiopia assisted to voluntarily return home.

18% of all camp-based refugees have access to alternative cooking energy.

Operational Context

Conflict, drought, inflation, and high food prices have had a cumulative devastating humanitarian impact across the country, driving millions into displacement. According to the International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) latest Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM), there were 2.73 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) and 1.88 million returning IDPs in the country, all of them requiring urgent humanitarian support and solutions1 . The two-year conflict in Northern Ethiopia has been the major cause of displacement and has put more than 9 million people in Tigray,
Afar and Amhara regions in need of urgent humanitarian assistance. While new displacements continue in several parts of Ethiopia, UNHCR is encouraged by the AU-led peace agreement between the Government of Ethiopia (GoE) and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) which has ended active combat in Northern Ethiopia and led to the gradual restoration of services and humanitarian operations in Tigray. In the Oromia, Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ (SNNP) and Somali regions, UNHCR is responding to the humanitarian needs of IDPs and host communities that have been impacted by the worst drought to hit the regions in 40 years.

Notwithstanding its internal challenges, Ethiopia is home to over 880,000 refugees and is providing protection and services to those in need. The country is also creating conditions for self-reliance and inclusion of refugees in national development plans and services, such as health and education. UNHCR is working with government partners, development actors, international financial institutions, donor countries, the private sector and others to engage in long-term socio-economic investments in refugee-hosting areas, benefitting both refugees and the communities hosting them.


Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees