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Mädchen aus Äthiopien: Keyrat Kemal

We are here in Ethiopia

Ethiopia hosts about 800.000 refugees. That would be a challenge for any country, and Ethiopia cannot handle this situation without assistance. Recently, violence erupted within its borders. The conflict in Tigray has been raging for months, pushing hundreds of thousands of people into conditions of famine.

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ZOA supports refugees, displaced people and returnees 

people are estimated to be internally displaced in Tigray region
Ethiopia shelters 795,108 registered refugees
of the refugees in Ethiopia originate from South-Sudan

Political instability 

Humanitarian needs rise in Ethiopia

Much has changed since the Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed accepted the Nobel Peace Prize in November 2020. In the northern province of Tigray and surrounding regions Amhara and Afar, people now face violence and conflict. It is estimated that the conflict left more than 2 million people displaced. Meanwhile, Ethiopia is still a refuge for people who flee from neighbouring countries.

ZOA works in several regions in Ethiopia: Gambella Regional State (field office in  Gambella Town), Somali Regional State (field office in Dolo Ado and Melkadida refugee camp), Tigray Regional State (field office in Shire and Mekelle), Oromia Regional State (field office in Harar), and Addis Ababa. In Ethiopia, ZOA works with Internally Displaced People (IDPs), host populations, returnees, and a large population of refugees who fled a lethal combination of violence and drought in Somalia, South Sudan and Eritrea.

Facts and figures about ZOA's work in Ethiopia in 2021

With a team of 216 staff members we supported 180,589 people.

people received assistance in food security
people were assisted with emergency shelter
people got access to clean water

Addressing root causes behind irregular migration

ZOA participates in four consortia programmes, funded by the Dutch government, AECID and the European Union, that provide young refugees and Ethiopians with skills, employability trainings and job placements. The Ethiopian government has made bold commitments for integration of refugees in society, such as the new Refugee Proclamation (No. 1110/2019). ZOA has actively been participating in the debate with the Ethiopian government and the UNHCR on the Comprehensive Refugee Reference Framework in Ethiopia. Parts of ZOA’s approach have been made part of that policy, such as expanding out-of-camp policy and increasing work opportunities for refugees. This gives them better chances to build a life in Ethiopia. 

Poor livelihood opportunities are a key driver behind irregular migration of young people in Ethiopia. As there is a huge demand for energy in the refugee camps and host communities, ZOA provides solar energy, electricity and briquettes and creates income generating mechanisms around them. We combine livelihood activities for Eritrean youth with psycho-social support, to help refugees who have suffered from trauma on their journey to Ethiopia. ZOA is also piloting an innovative urban refugee programme to support young talents, refugees and host-communities, to secure employment opportunities in the IT sector in Ethiopia.

How ZOA works with refugees and host communities in Gambella

Water, latrines and shelter for internally displaced people

Conflict and natural disasters such as drought and flooding have resulted in an estimated three million internally displaced people (IDPs) in 2019. Most people fled empty handed and now live in spontaneous settlements or with host communities in very harsh and basic circumstances. ZOA supports IDPs through the construction of water points and latrines. ZOA also partners with IOM to provide emergency shelter kits. By providing dignity kit to women safety and dignity can be upheld even during times of crises. ZOA also provides emergency seeds and tools to promote food security and livelihood during displacement.

Emergency response

To address life threatening situations, reduce suffering and uphold human dignity during time of crises, ZOA responds in various ways. It may be through emergency water solutions to respond to drought, such as rehabilitation of boreholes or water trucking. All ZOA’s emergency responses are conducted with a sustainable approach and design as part of ZOA’s long-term programme plans for the intervention areas.

Working together

Partners and donors

ZOA has been working in Ethiopia since 1998. Due to our experience and good results, we are valued as partners by the Ethiopian government, the United Nations, and other aid organisations. Moreover, our long-term commitment helps the communities we serve to put their trust in us.

We work together with Norwegian Refugee Council, Danish Refugee council, International Medical Corps, Plan, Save the Children, DRA-Partners, several government partners such as the Ethiopian Agency for Refugees and Returnees Affairs (ARRA), the Regional Governments, the Justice Bureau, the Water Bureau and DPPFSA, DBBP and NDRMC, UN agencies such as UN-OCHA, IOM and UNHCR, the UN led clusters in Shelter & NFI, Agriculture & Livelihood (including Energy), WASH and local partners including Gebeya, DPO, DICAC and OWDA and OIC-E.

Our work is funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the European Commission, AECID/Spanish Aid, Koppert Foundation, USAID/OFDA, USAID/BHA, IRC, WFP, Tear Australia, IOM, UNOCHA, UNHCR, ZOA Netherlands, ZOA Business Ambassadors, private donors and churches.

A woman with her child in Ethiopia
Melishew (32) fled from Tigray

Melishew (32) fled from Tigray

We lived a good life in Tigray. I had enough money to sustain my two children. Now, we are left with empty hands.