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Map of Ethiopia
UNICEF photo: A girl pours water into a yellow jerrycan at a rural water point © UNICEF Ethiopia/2017/Sewunet A girl fetches water from a UNICEF-supported water point in Yabello town, Borena Zone, Oromia, one of the woredas affected by drought.


In 2018, UNICEF and partners plan for:

children under 5, including 13,500 refugee children, treated for SAM

1.5 million

children received vitamin A supplementation


school-aged children, including adolescents, accessing quality education

2018 Requirements: US$123,794,062

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Total people in need: 7.9 million1
Total children (<18) in need: 4.3 million2

Total people to be reached in 2018: 3.3 million3
Total children to be reached in 2018: 1.8 million4

The Ethiopian Humanitarian and Disaster Resilience Plan for 2018, currently estimates that 7.9 million people need food and cash assistance, 6.86 million people need water,sanitation and hygiene support, 6 million are at risk of communicable diseases, an estimated 350,111 children require treatment for severe acute malnutrition, and 340,000 (estimated 90,000 children) vulnerable people require protection from gender based violence and exploitation. Ethiopia has the second largest number of refugees and asylum seekers in Africa, nearly 923,863.5

Ethiopia, at mid-year, is faced with an unprecedented caseload of 2.6 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) affected by conflict and drought, mainly along the Oromia regional border with Somali and the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ region. Children constitute more than half of the displaced population.6 Weather forecasts for the 2018 Kiremt season indicate above normal rainfall over much of Ethiopia. While, rains bring welcome relief from drought conditions, in some areas, it is expected that 2.5 million people are at risk of large scale flooding and landslides, potentially displacing an additional 637,000.7

Disease outbreaks, including measles and acute watery diarrhea (AWD) continue to pose a significant threat including increasing the risk of acute malnutrition, especially in cramped, unsanitary IDP sites and collection centers.

Humanitarian strategy

2018 programme targets


  • 363,611 children under 5, including 13,500 refugee children, treated for SAM
  • 1.5 million9 children received vitamin A supplementation


  • 35,313 children immunized against measles
  • 16,000 people affected by acute watery diarrhoea accessing life-saving curative interventions10
  • 400,000 women and children under 5 accessing essential maternal and child health services


  • 3.3 million people accessing sufficient water of appropriate quality and quantity for drinking, cooking and maintaining personal hygiene (more than 1 million through permanent infrastructure)
  • 2.1 million people reached with key messages on hygiene practices

Child protection

  • 91,348 girls and boys provided with psychosocial support, including access to child-friendly spaces with multi-sectoral programming interventions
  • 5,770 unaccompanied and separated girls and boys reunified with their families and/or placed in appropriate alternative care11
  • 41,600 children and women provided with risk mitigation, prevention or response interventions to address gender-based violence


  • 363,000 school-aged children, including adolescents, accessing quality education12

Based on the 2018 Ethiopia Humanitarian and Disaster Resilience Plan and the Country's Refugee Response Plan, UNICEF works with the Government and partners to meet the needs of children through sector specific interventions. UNICEF is supporting a coordinated humanitarian response as coleads of the education, WASH, nutrition clusters and the child protection sub-cluster. Access to SAM treatment has been expanded enabled by early detection of acute malnutrition by Community Management of Acute Malnutrition Monitors. UNICEF is equipping local health personnel with knowledge and skills to promote IYCF and establish systems for community management of acute malnutrition. UNICEF is supporting mobile teams to provide lifesaving health and nutrition services in target regions. UNICEF is and continues to procure and mobilize essential medicines to respond to disease outbreaks. The WASH response focuses on life-saving interventions and the construction of resilient water and sanitation infrastructures (including boreholes). Through community based referral systems and INGOs, children and women are better protected. Access to quality education in safe environments is being expanded for displaced and refugee children. In coordination with UNHCR, UNICEF supports initiatives that build self-reliance and strengthen social service delivery across refugee and host-communities in line with Ethiopia’s refugee pledges and the CRRF.

Results from 2018

As of July 2018, UNICEF had US$40.1 million available against the US$123.8 million revised appeal (32 per cent funded).8 Since January, 140,720 children have received SAM treatment. Mobile health and nutrition teams in hard-to-reach and pastoralist communities provided 287,505 people with medical services and treatment in Somali and Afar regions. UNICEF contributed to the treatment of 1,241 people suffering from AWD, far fewer than expected. Improved surveillance and containment have contributed to these gains. More than 2 million people have access to safe water through water trucking, as well as the rehabilitation, maintenance and drilling of existing and new water points, particularly in areas affected by drought, at high risk of water-borne diseases or displaced. UNICEF worked with the Government to provide psychosocial support to 21,606 children. In addition, 1,114 children were reunified with their families. Critical funding shortages for education hampered UNICEF’s emergency response, particularly support for out-ofschool children. 14,789 children gained access to schooling through the construction of temporary learning spaces, especially in Oromia, Somali and Gambella regions. UNICEF's support to cluster coordination has enabled quality programming and information management. UNICEF has also provided essential technical support to the National Flood Task Force.

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Funding requirements

UNICEF Ethiopia has revised it's appeal to US$123.8 million in response to the humanitarian needs of 3.3 million people, and 1.8 million children likely to be affected by disasters, such as conflict and drought displacement, communicable disease outbreaks and in need of protection. Until now, US$40.1 million is available (that includes carry-over from 2017), representing a funding gap of 68 per cent against the revised appeal. Such a large funding gap will significantly hamper UNICEF's ability to respond quickly to current and future humanitarian needs.

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1 2018 Humanitarian and Disaster Resilience Plan for Ethiopia, March 2018.
2 Using the 55% breakdown as per 2016 EDHS (demographic and health survey) by Ethiopian Government.
3 This figure is based on the WASH response target.
4 This is the total child target population.
5 UNHCR, June 2018.
6 DTM Rd 11, Ethiopia May-June and UN OCHA - Ethiopia: Gedeo-West Guji Displacement Crisis Situation Update #7, August 1.
7 National Flood Contingency Plan 2018 Kiremt.
8 Available funds include US$27.2 million raised against the current appeal and US$12.9 million carried forward from the previous year.
9 This figure refers to Vitamin A supplementation to be provided in Somali, Afar, Gambella, Benishangul Gumez regions and Gedeo - West Guji Zones. The original Vitamin A target in 2018 HAC was an inclusive nationwide figure and has been revised downwards to reflect the humanitarian response.
10 Reports of Acute Watery Diarrhea this year have fallen short of previous year caseloads. This is attributed to more effective diagnosis, containment and treatment.
11 This figure is a significant reduction compared to the original 2018 HAC. This new figure is based on a more realistic estimation based on this year's current needs.
12 This figure does not include a budget for refugees as this is currently fully funded. The total target was adjusted to include children recently displaced in Gedeo-West Guji.
13 Increase in budget is due to the added cost of nutritional supplies (BP5 - high energy biscuits), which are being procured at the request of the Government to provide short term preventative interventions addressing displacement and flood related needs; and the prevention of SAM as part of AWD treatment.
14 The required budget is to meet pre-positioning requirements, especially the procurement of essential medicines to prevent anticipated stockouts.
15 Increased budget is to meet the additional costs of responding to IDP Gedeo/West Guji caseload and operational costs incurred based on the complexities of a comprehensive response (outside of areas of development programme investments); particularly the investment into much needed skills building, monitoring, documentation and geographic spread of required interventions (with or without pre-existing services)