ALP classes in progress, learners pay attention and interact in classes which help them move forward to the next level

Photo: NRC/Emebet Abdissa
Read caption Photo: NRC/Emebet Abdissa

NRC in Ethiopia

The refugee population continues to rise in Ethiopia with the war in South Sudan and a steady influx from Eritrea. NRC has provided assistance since 2011.


A total of


people in need received our assistance in 2017.


Humanitarian overview

Conflict, drought and flooding are the main causes of displacement in Ethiopia. Surrounded by a region in conflict, Ethiopia is Africa's second largest refugee hosting country. As of April 2018, Ethiopia hosts over 915,000refugees. They are mainly from neighbouring South Sudan, Eritrea, Sudan and Somalia.  

The refugee population continues to rise with the war in South Sudan and a steady influx from Eritrea. More than 400,000 refugees from South Sudan have crossed into Ethiopia's Gambella region since the war broke out in December 2013. 

Meanwhile, climate change has taken its toll on the country. Three consecutive droughts between 2015 and 2017 have caused severe food and water shortages alongside loss of livestock and crops, displacing many people within their own country. In 2017 and 2018, unrest and local conflicts forced more people to flee from their homes. By April 2017, there were more than 1,5 million internally displaced people in Ethiopia.  


People we helped in Ethiopia in 2017

people benefited from our education programme
people benefited from our food security programme
people benefited from our shelter programme
people benefited from our WASH programme


NRC’s operation

NRC is present in five regions in Ethiopia, providing refugees and internally displaced people with emergency relief and help them rebuilding their lives.

NRC EducationEducation


We give children and youth a chance to return to formal schooling. Our education teams:

  • give quality education and catch-up classes to displacement affected children and youth
  • train teachers
  • give literacy training to adults
  • distribute school materials
  • provide vocational training where students receive professional certification in trades like hairdressing and carpentry



NRC Information, counselling and legal assistance (ICLA)Information, counselling and legal assistance (ICLA)


People affected by displacement often require assistance to interpret and navigate legal frameworks. We:

  • help people understand their obligations and entitlements during displacement
  • assist displaced people to access civil documentation
  • collaborate with government partners to ensure that the legal framework of the country serves to protect displaced people in the long-term


NRC Livelihoods and food securityLivelihoods and food security


We strive to improve peoples' living conditions and access to food and livelihood. We:

  • give graduates from our vocational training courses business training and start- up packages that enable them to start their own businesses
  • help displaced people to access markets and market chains
  • distribute seeds and agricultural tools
  • give training sessions on food security and agricultural production


NRC Shelter and settlementsShelter and settlements


NRC is among the main shelter providers in refugee camps in Ethiopia and is present in several border areas. Our teams:

  • provide refugees and host communities with shelter
  • provide temporary and transitional shelters
  • distribute household items like cooking utensils and plastic sheeting
  • construct schools
  • provide shelter construction training


NRC Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) promotion

We improve access to safe and sufficient water and sanitation facilities, and promote hygiene awareness. We:

  • facilitate access to clean water and latrines
  • construct and maintain water infrastructure like drilling boreholes
  • raise hygiene awareness
  • fight outbreaks of diarrhoea by providing chlorinated water for both people and livestock
  • distribute hygiene items like soap
  • provide water for agricultural production


Child Protection (CP)

Due to the high number of unaccompanied Eritrean children in the refugee camps in Shire, northern Ethiopia, NRC runs a child protection programme. We:

  • identify care arrangements for the children
  • provide shelter and food
  • employ social workers and care takers to support the children
  • refer children with special needs to specialised agencies



NRC Ethiopia is grateful for the generous support from our donors:
  • NMFA 
  • ECHO 
  • EU
  • OCHA 
  • Swiss Secretariat for Migration(SEM)
  • SIDA
  • Wellsprings
  • Telethon
  • Dutch (Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs) 

About NRC in (country)

International staff
Areas of operation
Addis Ababa, Benishangul Gumuz, Somali Region, Oromia, Gambella, & Tigray
Budget 2017
USD 15 million
National staff


Country Director

Stine Paus


+251 (0) 116619980/81