International Rescue Committee (IRC)

The IRC in Ethiopia

A child holds his crops, part of IRC agriculture, economic recovery programs
Photo: Kevin McNulty/IRC

As Ethiopia experiences its worst drought in 50 years, the International Rescue Committee has expanded its programs delivering clean water, sanitation health care and other emergency assistance across the country, especially in drought stricken regions which has affected the lives and livelihoods of more than 10 million people. The IRC has been working in Ethiopia since 2000, providing essential aid to over 100,000 refugees who have fled to the country from neighboring Somalia, Sudan and Eritrea and more than 500,000 Ethiopians affected by previous droughts. 

The Latest

How We Help

Response to drought

  • The IRC is providing clean water and rehabilitating existing water supply systems while educating communities on good hygiene practices that prevent the spread of disease.
  • We are training community workers in primary health care clinics on treating common childhood illnesses.
  • We have also prepositioned approximately 5,000 emergency kits with water cans, blankets, cooking utensils and other supplies as well as 3,000 hygiene kits for the vulnerable women and girls.


The IRC’s ongoing work

  • The IRC constructs classrooms, trains teachers and makes sure that everyone has access to safe, high-quality education.
  • The IRC promotes good health by building and maintaining clean water sources and sanitation facilities, and by training community health workers and raising awareness of health challenges and solutions.
  • The IRC assists farmers and promotes new livelihood opportunities for youth.
  • The IRC encourages local communities to participate in their recovery and development projects.
May 11, 2016 | Blog
After the IRC rehabilitated a water point closer to her home, 25-year-old Sheyte Amdu was able to stay in her village—otherwise, she would have been forced to flee.