UNICEF Ethiopia Humanitarian Situation Report No. 3, March 2022


  • UNICEF estimates 9.9 million people are impacted by the drought in 214 hotspot locations across four regions of Afar, Oromia, Somali and Southern Nations, Nationalities and People’s Region (SNNPR), including 4.45 million children. Over four million people in the hotspot locations in the droughtimpacted regions are in urgent need of water. UNICEF has been able to reach over 200,000 people with clean water supply since January.
  • The Northern Ethiopia conflict has had severe consequences on the nutritional status of children under five. In Afar and Amhara, a ‘Find and Treat’ nutritional screening was conducted where in Afar, 1.6 per cent of children aged 6 to 59 months were found to have severe acute malnutrition (SAM), while in Amhara preliminary results revealed a proxy SAM among children of 6 per cent.
  • According to the Nutrition Cluster, in Tigray, about 454,000 children are estimated to be malnourished, including more than 115,000 children (14 per cent) who are severely malnourished.
  • UNICEF rolled out the ‘Find and Treat’ campaign in drought affected areas in Somali region including internally displaced people (IDP) sites, which has revealed that 2.4 per cent of children have SAM; proxy Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) rates indicate extreme rates ranging from 17 to 26 per cent. In Oromia, as part of the Rapid Nutrition Emergency Response, UNICEF conducted a ‘Find and Treat’ campaign in 18 woredas across Borena, East Bale and Bale zones. As a result, a total of 181,242 children under five were screened, of which 2,876 were determined to have SAM (1.6%); average GAM rates stood at 17 per cent.
  • Over 5,200 children were reached through the ‘Bete’ (‘My Home’) integrated child protection and education programme in Afar, Oromia and SNNP regions availing protective services in and around learning environments.

Situation in Numbers

12.4 million children in need of humanitarian assistance (2022 draft HNO and HRP)

29.7 million people in need (2022 draft HNO and HRP)

4.51 million Internally Displaced People (IDPs) (DTM 2022)

844,589 pending and registered refugees (UNHCR, 31 March 2021)

Situation Overview and Humanitarian Needs

The prolonged drought continues in Oromia, Somali and Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ and South West Ethiopia Peoples’ regions (SNNPR and SWEPR, respectively). UNICEF estimates 9.9 million people are impacted by the drought in 214 hotspot locations across four regions – Afar, Oromia, Somali and SNNPR – including 4.45 million children. Over four million people in 214 hotspot locations in the drought-impacted regions are in urgent need of water. Further, almost 350 boreholes across the drought impacted regions are in need of immediate repair. As of February 2022, there was a 15 per cent increase in SAM in drought impacted areas as compared to February 2021. In addition, Moderate Acute Malnutrition (MAM) rates for Pregnant and Lactating Women (PLW) are over 50 per cent. Nearly 650,000 children are out of school in Oromia (207,004), SNNPR (68,061) and Somali (372,727) due to the drought resulting in over 2,000 schools closed. Altogether 1.9 million children and caregivers are in need of protection support and 3.4 million people are in need of health support.

According to Borena and East Bale zonal Disaster Risk Management Office (DRMO) report, it was reported that 85 per cent of woredas under the two zones in Oromia region received minimum to moderate rain since 23 March. According to the latest Therapeutic Feeding Programme (TFP) data in the region, Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) admission in Borena zone has increased by 63 per cent compared to the previous month. Results of ‘Find and Treat’ nutrition campaign in selected woredas in Borena, East Bale, and Bale indicated a concerning proxy Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) rate of 15 per cent.

In Somali region, SAM admissions increased by 14.5 per cent as compared to the previous month. Gu seasonal rain has started in some parts of the region, however the vast majority of drought affected zones remain dry; drought conditions persist. Pasture have not regenerated yet water stress was somewhat relieved where rain was observed. Multi-directional flow of refugees and IDPs into woredas bordering with Somalia have been observed, such as Ferfer, Mustahil, Barey, Dollo Ado, and Dollo-bay. Ongoing water trucking and food distributions near these border areas have been the main pull factors.

In SNNPR, over 68,000 children are affected by drought in Dasenech, Hammer, Gnangatom, Selamago, Bena Tsemay and Male woredas in South Omo zone. In Sidama, close to 18,000 children are also affected by water shortages in Bilate Zuria, Boricha, Bona Zuria, Hawassa Zuria, Loka Abaya and Aleta Chuko woredas.

According to Afar Region Disaster Prevention and Food Security Programme Coordination Office (DPFSPCO), over 330,000 people have been newly displaced from Zone 25 since January. Out of the new IDP caseload, over 74,000 are children under five, and 19,000 are PLW. This brings the IDP caseload due to conflict to 765,000. According to Afar DPFSPCO 1.7 million people in the 23 woredas are affected by the conflict and drought-induced humanitarian crisis A nutritional screening conducted through the Find and Treat campaign indicates 1.6 per cent of children aged 6 to 59 months and 50.7 per cent of PLW have SAM and MAM, respectively.

The Amhara Regional Disaster and Risk Management Commission (DRMC) reported 50,000 new IDPs in North Wollo, North Shewa, and Waghimra zones as a result of the Northern Ethiopia conflict. A ‘Find and Treat’ campaign conducted in conflict-affected zones7 showed an increase of SAM from 1.7 per cent pre-conflict to 6 per cent at present. Moreover, the proxy GAM of children in Waghimra, North Wollo, and North Gondar is over 22 per cent for children and 50 per cent for PLW.

In Tigray, about 454,000 children are estimated to be malnourished, including more than 115,000 children who are severely malnourished. These estimates suggest that over 50 per cent of children in Tigray have MAM, and 14 per cent have SAM. The two latest ‘Find and Treat’ campaigns conducted in Tigray showed proxy SAM of 3 per cent and MAM ranging from 12 to 23 per cent among children under five.

According to the Benishangul Gumuz regional Disaster and Risk Management Commission (DRMC), the security situation in the region has improved. Nonetheless, in the Metekel zone, particularly in Bulen, Guba, and Dangur woredas, there have been reports of ambushes and casualties as a result of armed clashes. The commission estimates that the number of IDPs in the region has risen to about 440,000, including about 78,000 children under five and more than 20,000 PLW.

In addition, an outbreak of scabies and childhood diarrhoea (Rotavirus) has been reported in three woredas of Assosa zone, with confirmed 449 cases and three deaths. The Regional Health Bureau (RHB) has assigned an epidemiology team to the woredas to support the investigation and response intervention.

In Gambella, the Refugees and Returnees Service (RRS) have planned to relocate all registered refugees (9,840 individuals) in Pagak reception center to the Nguenyyiel refugee camp by mid-April. RRS plans to halt all services at Pagak reception center after the relocation is completed. UNICEF will continue to provide services through existing service outlets. Fighting between the South Sudanese government and rebels which started in February, continues along the border in Jikawo and Pagak. In addition, according to the Regional Education Bureau (REB), due to the sporadic and continuous Murle attacks, including kidnappings, 41 schools in seven woredas have been closed affecting the education of 15,700 children.

The Education Cluster reports that over 4,000 schools are closed across the country, leaving over 1.8 million children out of school. This includes 1.2 million children out of school due to conflict in Afar, Amhara, Benishangul Gumuz, Gambella, Oromia, SNNP and Tigray, in addition to 650,000 children out of school in Oromia, Somali, SNNP and Sidama due to drought. In addition, the Oromia Regional Education Bureau had reported that 117 schools in West Guji, Borena, Bale and Hararghe zones were damaged due to a storm in the reporting month.

As of 31 March 2022, a total of 469,758 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 7,497 deaths (with a case fatality rate (CFR) of 1.6%) were reported in Ethiopia since the onset of the outbreak in March 2020. A total of 442,826 (94.3%) patients are reported to have recovered and over 24.5 million people have received COVID-19 vaccinations. By the end of March 2022, a total of 13.4 million doses of COVID vaccine were available in stock at central and subnational Ethiopian Pharmaceuticals Supply Agency (EPSA) hubs.


Source: UN Children’s Fund


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