The conflict that broke out in November 2020 in the Tigray region and which has expanded into the Amhara and Afar regions since 2021, has had serious political, social, and economic impacts on the North of Ethiopia. The conflict has greatly impacted the lives of millions of people, particularly, women and girls, persons with specific protection needs, youth and minority groups.
As of December 2021, the Northern Ethiopia conflict accounted for more than 50% of the IDP population across the country, displacing more than 3 million people. As more people were forced to flee in search of safety and means of survival, their displacement has created or exacerbated protection risks and vulnerabilities among IDPs and hosting communities. There are concerns of various serious human rights violations committed against civilian populations including: unlawful killings; attacks on civilians; gender and conflict-related sexual violence; limited access to basic services; and family separation.
Across the Northern region, an estimated 11.2 million people need humanitarian assistance. Food insecurity, high malnutrition rates, the collapse of the health system and scarcity of public services have led to negative coping strategies, including begging, child labour and increased intimate partner violence.
Access constraints have changed in nature but have persisted throughout the conflict, with changing levels of armed conflict, insecurity and operational constraints. These have contributed to suspension of activities of most humanitarian organisations, with limited presence of some partners across the three regions, amidst on-going displacements and IDP returns. Humanitarian needs for the affected populations continue to be extremely high in terms of severity and scale, and the extent of protection risks.