Programme areas and target groups

  • Gambella Regional State (field office in Mattar and Gambella Town)
  • Somali Regional State (field office in Dolo Ado and Filtu)
  • Tigray Regional State (field office in Shire, Hitsats refugee camp and in May Tsebri)
  • Addis Ababa (capital city)

In Ethiopia, we work with refugees, IDPs and the Ethiopian population in need. Our focus is on youth at risk of irregular migration.

  • Shelter
  • Peacebuilding
  • WASH
  • Food Security and Livelihoods
  • Basic Education

What we do

Peace between Ethiopia and Eritrea was established in July 2018, after a state of war of 20 years. In August 2018, the recently elected Prime Minister Dr. Abiy facilitated peace talks between the two leaders of South Sudan. The new Prime Minister has brought hope and has enlarged the humanitarian space. This is good news for many people who are in need of assistance. ZOA-Ethiopia works with 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.

More opportunities for refugees

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. ZOA always takes the host community into account. Watch the video and learn more about the way ZOA interacts with refugees and host communities.

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.

We combine livelihood activities for Eritrean youth with psycho-social support, to help refugees who have suffered from trauma on their journey to Ethiopia.

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.

Addressing root causes

Poor livelihood opportunities are a key driver behind irregular migration of young people in Ethiopia. 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. This gives them better chances to build a life 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. ZOA is piloting an innovative urban refugee programme to support young talents; refugees and host-communities, to secure employment opportunities in the IT sector in Ethiopia.

Donors and partners

In cooperation with

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, DICAC and OWDA and OIC-E.

With funding from

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