Photo: Beate Simarud/NRC

NRC in Ethiopia


A total of


people in need received our assistance in 2023.


Humanitarian overview

Ethiopia is currently facing one of the world’s most complex and large-scale humanitarian crises. Armed conflict, political unrest, climate shocks, natural hazards and economic instability have contributed to large-scale displacements and reduced living conditions in multiple regions across the country. According to the 2023 Humanitarian Needs Overview, 31.4 million people are in need of humanitarian support in Ethiopia. This number has increased from previous years due to the conflict and drought situation in the country. Some 4.6 million people are internally displaced. This number has decreased over the year due to the peace deal in the north and effort to return IDPs all over the country.

As of April 2023, over 24 million people are drought-affected, and 11 million people are immediately food insecure. Livelihoods have been decimated, and there are limited resources to respond to the mass displacements.

Ethiopia is Africa’s third largest refugee hosting country, with nearly 1 million refugees from neighbouring Sudan, South Sudan, Eritrea and Somalia. Due to the conflict in Sudan and Somaliland, 80,000 and 91,000 people respectively have crossed into Ethiopia. These refugees face increasing food shortages due to increased demand and reduced supply chains and the market situation.

  • 78,385
    people benefited from our education programme
  • 110,908
    people benefited from our food security programme
  • 44,644
    people benefited from our shelter programme
  • 13,689
    people benefited from our ICLA programme
  • 48,137
    people benefited from our WASH programme
  • 121,122
    people benefited from other NRC activities


NRC's operation

NRC is present in five of the seven regions of Ethiopia (Tigray, Amhara, Benishangul-Gumuz, Afar, and Somali). We provide refugees, IDPs, returnees and host community members with emergency relief and help them to rebuild their lives. As of August 2023, NRC had assisted 145,262 displacement-affected people in Ethiopia through its education, information, counselling and legal assistance (ICLA), water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), livelihoods and food security, and rapid response mechanism (RRM) work.


NRC EducationEducation

Displacement-affected children, adolescents and youth have access to quality education through:

  • provision of safe, inclusive, protected and quality education though formal and non-formal learning
  • provision of teaching and learning materials and education equipment
  • capacity-building trainings to teachers, school administrators, education experts and community structures
  • psychosocial support to children through the Better Learning Programme (BLP 1)
  • construction/rehabilitation of learning spaces, WASH facilities, and admin blocks
  • provision of marketable skills training to youth and transitional support to livelihood opportunities

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

Vulnerable refugees, IDPs and conflict-affected populations are able to claim and exercise their rights and attain durable solutions through:

  • legal identity documentation
  • housing, land and property (HLP) rights, including collaborative dispute resolution for HLP disputes
  • employment laws and procedures to remove barriers to wage and self-employment opportunities
  • access to basic services and referrals to other service and protection providers
  • coordination of the HLP working group

NRC Livelihoods and food securityLivelihoods and food security

We support hard-to-reach displacement-affected populations and vulnerable host communities through:

  • support to meet their basic food needs and reduce harmful coping strategies
  • improving availability and access to food through production, processing, promoting self-reliance and cash support
  • sustainable livelihood and income generation opportunities through employment/self-employment
  • entrepreneurship and business skills trainings

NRC Shelter and settlementsShelter and settlements

Given continued and often repeated displacement, NRC aims to respond fast through the Emergency team with shelter activities, as well as longer-term solutions such as:

  • providing emergency/temporary shelter solutions and basic household items in the immediate aftermath of displacement
  • improving access to transitional shelters for IDPs, and support for access to permanent shelters for returnees
  • improving access to basic settlement infrastructure services

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

Refugees and IDPs have access to local and durable public health solutions, through:

  • safe, sufficient, accessible, acceptable and affordable water provision in camps and community settings and improved management of water infrastructure
  • appropriate, safe sanitation facilities and improved solid waste management systems
  • increased durability of targeted positive hygiene behaviours and improved capacity of local governance structures and local community groups to widely promote safe hygiene practices

About NRC in Ethiopia

International staff
Areas of operation
Addis Ababa, Amhara, Afar, Benishangul Gumuz, Somali and Tigray regions
National staff


Country Director

Isaac Ooko


+251 915566903