By 31 October 2020, Ethiopia was hosting more than 796,400 registered refugees and asylum seekers, according to UNHCR, the UN refugee agency. Most of them are from South Sudan, Somalia, Eritrea and Sudan. In addition, intercommunal violence has led to an internal displacement crisis, which at times has affected more than one million people.
We provide medical and mental healthcare to refugees, internally displaced people and their host communities, communities affected and displaced by natural disasters such as floods and droughts, as well as to Ethiopians deported from Gulf countries and returned from Lebanon.
Our activities in Ethiopia include treating malnourished children and people with neglected diseases such as kala azar, running mobile clinics for communities in remote locations and donating drugs and medical supplies.
Our activities in 2020 in Ethiopia
Data and information from the International Activity Report 2020.
In 2020, we provided general and specialist healthcare to South Sudanese refugees in the camps of Gambella region and specialist healthcare in Gambella hospital. In remote areas of Somali region, we offered general healthcare and responded to emergencies such as outbreaks of cholera and measles.
We also treated people for neglected tropical diseases, including kala azar and snakebite envenomation, in Amhara region. In Addis Ababa, we provided medical and mental health support to repatriated or deported Ethiopian migrants and ensured continuity of care for them in their regions of origin.
Our teams also assisted people displaced by floods in Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People's Region (SNNPR) and Afar region, and supported internally displaced people and the host community in Benishangui Gumuz region.
In March, we ended our support to Hitsats refugee camp in Tigray region, where we offered mental healthcare to refugees and the host community.
We started supporting health facilities in southern Tigray with training and donations in November, and have been running mobile clinics and supporting some heavily damaged health facilities in other parts of Tigray since mid-December, providing them with oxygen and other vital supplies, and rehabilitating emergency, maternity, paediatric and inpatient services.
On the border of the Amhara region, our teams offered healthcare to thousands of displaced people and supported several health facilities with medical supplies. We also gave nutritional and mass casualty training to Ministry of Health staff. In early November, we provided medical assistance to 278 people wounded in the first clashes in western Tigray.
Voices from the field
I see a lot of suffering in the refugee camp, but as a midwife I also see a lot of joy.MSF midwife Christine Tasnier