As world leaders prepare to gather in Geneva on 16 April to pledge funds in response to the humanitarian crisis in Ethiopia, the IRC urges world leaders to fully support communities affected by the dual challenges of conflict and climate change in the country. Today, more than 21 million people are in need of urgent assistance in Ethiopia, placing the country at number nine on the IRC 2024 Watchlist. Ethiopia is also facing a worsening food security crisis, with more than 15 million facing high levels of food insecurity, and malnutrition rates surpassing emergency levels in some areas.  

The United Nations Humanitarian Response Plan for Ethiopia calls for 3.2 billion USD to address the population’s highest priority needs, including for 4 million internally displaced persons (IDPs). To date, the plan is less than 4% funded. In 2023, the level of funding was similarly woefully inadequate, with only 36% of the appeal funded by the end of the year.   

Dr. Banchiamlack Dessalegn, IRC Regional Vice President for East Africa, said,

“Given the scale of the crisis, it is imperative for world leaders to show their commitment to the Ethiopian population by fully funding the country’s humanitarian appeal. Following years of conflict and climatic shocks, people’s ability to recover has been severely weakened, making global solidarity not only a necessity, but a moral imperative. 

"Now is the time for donors to contribute to deliver life-saving assistance, food, water, and medical care to populations affected by drought, flooding, and malnutrition. In light of the compounding impacts of climate change, conflict, and economic shocks, donors should also invest in resilience-building initiatives that will not only address the current crisis but also help communities better prepare for future shocks. Millions of lives are at stake, and we cannot afford to delay.”

Partners and friends of Ethiopia will come together for the upcoming High-level Pledging Event for the Humanitarian Crisis in Ethiopia co-hosted by the Government of Ethiopia, UNOCHA, and the UK Government in Geneva on 16 April 2024. 

About the IRC Ethiopia

The IRC began its programming in Ethiopia in 2000, aiding refugees from neighbouring countries and Ethiopians in crisis-affected and under-served communities. Our programming encompasses emergency rapid response, water, sanitation and hygiene, health and nutrition, education, protection and economic recovery services. We  operate directly and indirectly throughout all regions of Ethiopia, except for the newly formed Southwest Region, and have seven field offices - in Adama, Hawassa, Asossa, Gambella, Somali, and Shire--and four satellite offices in Aleta Wondo, Harar, Bahir Dar, and Sheraro.