Amhara Flash Update (01 March 2019)


Key Highlights

  • More than 90,000 people are currently displaced in Amhara region, the majority since September 2018. The IDPs are living with host communities (70 per cent) and in temporary, sub-standard settlement sites (30 per cent).

  • The IDPs lack adequate access to basic services such as food, water and sanitation, education, health, shelter and livelihoods. The most pressing need articulated by IDPs is security and protection, followed by food, shelter and household items.

  • Nearly all IDP sites in Central Gondar are accessible, while some sites in West Gondar remain inaccessible due to security concerns on the road. Basic social services (schools, health, and other Government services) were suspended due to insecurity.

  • NDRMC started dispatching food and non-food relief supplies to Central and West Gondar since 12 February, but needs surpass resources available.

  • Central and West Gondar zones are historically less affected by climate variability (drought/flood) and the small holder farmers are, for the most part, able to sustain themselves. For this reason, there is absence of humanitarian partners in the areas, which is posing a significant challenge in the current situation.


Longstanding tensions and sporadic conflict between the Amhara and Qemant communities spiked in September 2018 across the Central and West Gondar zones of the region, leading to the displacement of some 56,000 people as of the 4th week of Februray 2019.

The Amhara Region Disaster Prevention and Food Security Coordination Office (RDPFSPCO), in collaboration with sector bureaus, NGOs and UN agencies, conducted a multi-sector assessement in affected areas in October 2018. The assessment identified an estimated 6,000 IDPs, who were newly displaced in September 2018. By December 2018 however, the regional government announced that the number of displaced people in the region had reached at least 43,000. The region subsequently sent out an official request for support to all partners, stating that nearly US$8 million was required to address prioritized life-saving needs of 43,000 IDPs from December 2018 to May 2019.

To confirm the displacement figure, gauge the level of humanitarian needs and identify response gaps, a Government-led multi-agency and multi-sector rapid needs assessment was conducted from 22 to 28 January 2019.

By this time, the number of displaced population had reached an estimated 80,000. The initial Response Plan was revised based on the assessment findings, and the requirement was increased to US$18 million.

Ongoing violence continues to displace civilians from their homes, and as of the last week of February 2019, the number of IDPs in the region had reached 90,000 according to regional authorities. The vast majority of the IDPs (some 60,000) are displaced in Central and West Gondar zones.

While the recent inter-communal conflict contributed to the sudden and drastic spike in the number of IDPs in the region since September 2018 (contributing to more than half of the IDP caseload in the region), displaced Amharas in the region also come from Oromia (Buno Bedele, Jimma, Nekemt and Kelem Wollega zones), Benishangul Gumuz (Kamashi zone), SNNP (Bench Maji zone), Afar, Somali and Tigray regions since October 2017. The IDPs are scattered across 11 zones of Central Gonder (49,312), West Gonder (7,480), South Gonder (3,088), North Wollo (3,275), South Wollo (2,097), Oromo zone (4,760), West Gojam (15,842), North Shoa (516), Wag Hemira (236), Awi ( 2,919) and East Gojam (1,211 ).


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