2019 IN REVIEW
This Annual Report presents information on the achievements of the Ethiopia Humanitarian Fund during the 2019 calendar year. However, because grant allocation, project implementation and reporting processes often take place over multiple years (CBPFs are designed to support ongoing and evolving humanitarian responses), the achievement of CBPFs are reported in two distinct ways:
Information on allocations granted in 2019 (shown in blue). This method considers intended impact of the allocations rather than achieved results as project implementation and reporting often continues into the subsequent year and results information is not immediately available at the time of publication of annual reports.
Results reported in 2019 attributed to allocations granted in 2019 and prior years (shown in orange). This method provides a less complete picture of achievements during a given calendar year but includes results from allocations that were granted in previous years. This data is extracted from final narrative reports approved between 1 February 2019 - 31 January 2020.
In order to avoid double counting, highest number of targeted/reached beneficiaries across projects per location are used to determine aggregated figures.
Contribution recorded based on the exchange rate when the cash was received which may differ from the Certified Statement of Accounts that records contributions based on the exchange rate at the time of the pledge.
Humanitarian situation in 2019
The humanitarian landscape in 2019 was characterized by adverse situations including displacements caused by inter-ethnic conflict and violence, drought conditions leading to food insecurity, unseasonal rainfall causing flooding, disease outbreaks and desert locust infestations. At the beginning of the year, 8.3 million people were identified as requiring food and non-food assistance which quickly grew to 8.6 million before mid-year due to increasing conflict-related displacements. Floods and disease outbreaks exacerbated the already dire humanitarian situation.
Violence, Clashes and Internal Displacement
The year 2019 seen frequent incidences of inter-communal conflicts and clashes between Government forces and unidentified armed groups in various pocket areas across the country with southern and western Oromia being the worst hit. Conflicts and violence caused the internal displacement of some 3.2 million people in the country starting from late 2018. Although many of the displaced people returned to their places of origin following the Government’s return and rehabilitation strategy in April 2019, most remained secondarily displaced either for fear of reprisal attacks or as their homes have mostly been damaged or destroyed. The situation still remains fragile in communities that were affected by communal conflict particularly in Western and Southern Oromia, parts of Amhara and areas bordering with Tigray region, Benishangul Gumuz and Dire Dawa City Administration.
Desert locust infestation, which was reported to be the worst to hit the Horn of Africa countries in 25 years, affected and continue to threaten a further reduction of the meher harvest in Ethiopia. According to official reports, up to late 2019, locusts infested an estimated 2,350 km2 in more than 125 woredas in Somali, Amhara, Tigray, Oromia and SNNP regions since the infestation started in June 2019. In affected localized areas, households harvested immature crops to avoid large-scale crop losses. In pastoralist areas of Afar, Oromia and Somali regions, locusts destroyed vast areas of grazing land and vegetation, which deteriorated pasture availability for livestock. Desert locusts are expected to continue hatching in areas where conditions are largely favorable for breeding, such as in Somali region. While efforts to scale up major control operations are ongoing, crop and pasture loses – yet to be quantified – have been registered with the compounding severe threat to the livelihoods of households in the affected localities.
In addition, Ethiopia remains vulnerable to epidemic outbreaks where cholera remains one of the major public health hazards throughout the country. As of mid-November 2019, nearly 2,000 cases of cholera were reported in Ethiopia from almost all regions. Other epidemics in 2019 in Ethiopia include measles, polio, malaria and chikungunya. As of November 2019, nearly 9,000 suspected measles cases were reported from Afar, Amhara, Oromia, SNNP and Somali regions, including among adults up to 45 years of age while over 53,000 suspected cases of chikungunya were reported in Dire Dawa City Administration and Afar region; polio outbreaks were reported in Oromia and Somali regions, during the year.
Security and Access
Localized armed confrontations, ethnic violence, intra-communal tensions and social unrest continued to challenge operations and the safety of the population and aid workers in parts of the country. Most reported access incidents relate to active hostilities with unidentified armed groups (UAGs) as well as between ethnic groups mostly in West and Southern Oromia.
Meanwhile, armed clashes and social unrest continued to pose an indirect threat to aid workers. During late 2019, two aid workers were killed and two injured in Gambella region while travelling to carry-out relief activities in an incident where the circumstances behind the attack still remain unclear; six others were temporarily arrested. Ethnic tensions in Amhara region involving ethnic-Qemant as well as with neighboring communities of Benishangul Gumuz and Tigray, and particularly Amhara - Oromo inter-communal conflict (mainly in Dire Dawa and the Hararghes) escalated towards the end of the year. In Somali region, the access situation has improved, particularly the boundary dispute with southern Oromia while tensions along boundary areas and resource-based clan conflicts continue. In some areas, such as Awi zone (Amhara) and Gedeo zone (SNNPR), partners continue to seek pragmatic ways to assist conflict-displaced communities regardless of status as per the humanitarian imperative of ‘leaving no one behind’ and the principles of operational independence, neutrality, and impartiality.
On a related note, humanitarian operations and partners’ physical access have been impaired in many areas including parts of Afar, Amhara, Tigray, and Somali regions, due to flash floods and river overflow.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.