Ethiopia Protection Cluster: Protection Strategy 2016 - 2019
Activated in 2008, the UNHCR-led Ethiopia Protection Cluster focuses on the rights and needs of specific vulnerable groups, including women, children, persons with disabilities, elderly and Internally Displaced Persons (‘IDPs’), and is led by UNHCR. The first sub-national Protection Cluster in Gambella Regional State was established in December 2016. Child Protection and Gender Based Violence SubCluster (under the Protection Cluster) co-led by the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs (MoWCA) UNICEF and UNFPA; had been established in six regions (Somali, Afar, Oromiya, Tigray, Amhara and SNNPR), with government leadership. The Protection Cluster and the CP/GBV SubCluster membership includes Government Institutions, UN Agencies, national and international NGOs.
In 2015, the two main rainy seasons that supply over 80 per cent of Ethiopia’s agricultural yield and employ 85 per cent of the work force were not successful following which Ethiopia experienced one of the worst droughts in decades. HRD 2016 estimated that 10.2 million people would require emergency food assistance. In recognition that related protection risk will likely increase within this context, especially in areas of limited access, the protection sector is included in the HRD for the first time in 2016.
The HRD 2016 mid-year review estimated1 that 2.5 million people are in need of protection in Ethiopia (1 million children, 1.3 million women and girls and 0.2 million men and boys). Based on the 2016 Meher assessment findings, HRD 20172 issued on 17 Jan 2017 indicated 0.59 million will be in need of protection. IOM’s Monthly Internal Displacement Update (MIDU), covering the period between August 2015 and May 2016, reported that 631,163 individuals or 112,362 households were internally displaced due to the impact of El Niño. Around 718,000 people were displaced in 2016 as per latest estimates by IOM.
The 2016 HRD emphasised protection consequences of the drought related to livelihoods and food security crisis that overstretched coping mechanisms, sharp rising of household debts and significant reduction of dietary diversity. Many undertook dangerous irregular journeys within and out of Ethiopia. Recognizing that vulnerability to protection risks increased significantly, the protection sector, focused on Child Protection (CP), Gender Based Violence (GBV) and Protection Mainstreaming across all sectors in the 2016 HRD. The 2017 HRD also attributed similar protection concerns of vulnerable groups including women, children, disabled persons, elderly and internally displaced persons based on the 2016 Meher assessment findings.