Children and women are among the most affected by protection risks as Ethiopia has suffered overlapping humanitarian crises since 2022, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has warned.
In an Ethiopia Protection Cluster National Strategy 2023-2025 released late Friday, the UN agency said Ethiopia has suffered many overlapping humanitarian crises since 2022, placing millions of people’s lives and livelihoods at risk and creating ongoing high and urgent humanitarian needs.
It said the country is highly vulnerable to climatic shocks and is among the world’s most drought-prone countries, in which the severe drought that began in late 2020 has extended until 2023, with five weak to failed rainy seasons.
“With each failed rainy season, the situation worsens, affecting pastoralist and agro-pastoral communities, particularly in the country’s east and south, impacting the vulnerability of communities and their resilience to recurrent shocks, and worsening food insecurity,” it said.
According to the report, although the signing of the cessation of hostilities agreement in November 2022 brought peace and improved access in Northern Ethiopia regions of Afar, Amhara, and Tigray, humanitarian needs resulting from a two-year conflict remain high, and greater support is needed.
The protection cluster, in its national strategy for 2023-2025, said it will seek to prevent and mitigate protection risks and their harmful consequences for the civilian population affected by conflict and natural disasters such as drought and flood.
More specifically, the protection cluster will identify types of risks, and persons at risk and develop evidence-based mechanisms for preventing harm to persons at risk; develop and strengthen an inclusive mechanism for robust monitoring and analysis; as well as develop evidence-based protection interventions.
According to the strategy, the protection cluster will further work to mitigate harms and support to restore people’s capacity to live safe and dignified lives through the availability of life-saving medical, legal, psychosocial and other specialized services.