Humanitarian Health Action

Ethiopia news and feature stories


  • Integrated Measles and EOS campaign protects 2.6 million children in Ethiopia’s Somali Region

    Measles is a highly infectious vaccine-preventable disease. While children that are not immunized are at risk, those that are also malnourished or are already affected by other diseases are especially susceptible to it. Children in countries and districts where there is an ongoing emergency such as the current drought which has led to water scarcity and food insecurity in the Horn of Africa are therefore more at risk of contracting the virus and developing complications that often lead to disability and even death.

  • July 2017

    WHO’s support to the response of the acute watery diarrhoea outbreak in Ethiopia’s Somali Region

    The Government of Ethiopia, through the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) and the Regional Health Bureaus (RHBs) with support from the World Health Organization (WHO) and other partners is responding to an outbreak of Acute Watery Diarrhoea (AWD) in Amahara, Oromia, SNNP and Somali regions. To support the government’s response implementation, WHO has deployed surge teams of experts in surveillance, case management, WASH, nutrition, risk communication, administration and logistics to the affected regions to support implementation of response activities. Logistical supplies including vehicles, medicines, case management protocols, laboratory reagents, treatment kits and other materials have also been provided. Below is a kaleidoscopic view of activities in Somali region.

  • 7 July 2017

    WHO responds to new acute watery diarrhea outbreak rumour in a remote zone in Somali region of Ethiopia

    Jjiga City, Somali Region - In disease outbreak situations, rumours are as valuable as actual surveillance data. In fact, disease response teams particularly surveillance officers, attach a lot of importance on rumours and investigates them until proven wrong or right. In several instances, disease outbreak rumours have turned out to be correct thereby contributing to early containment, reduced morbidity and mortality associated with major outbreaks. This was the case recently in Somali Region where the Government of Ethiopia, WHO and other partners are battling an outbreak of Acute Watery Diarrhea (AWD).


  • 27 April 2016

    Emergency Health Response in Ethiopia

    Failed crops, malnutrition and disease outbreaks are just some of the devastating effects of the El Nino-related drought on Ethiopia. An estimated 1.7 million people are suffering from moderate or severe acute malnutrition and the Ethiopian government estimates that over 10 million people will require humanitarian assistance to cope with the drought in 2016.

  • 25 April 2016

    Fighting scabies: an insufferable skin disease spreading in Ethiopia

    Fourteen-year-old Belaynesh Yimer from Amhara, Ethiopia, dreams of being a doctor when she grows up. But the seventh grader was forced to miss school recently when she was struck with an excruciating skin disease called scabies. “I didn’t believe I would be healed because the pain was intolerable,” Belaynesh said, explaining that she was unable to sleep, study, write, eat properly or even hold a pen due to body aches, itching and multiple sores.

  • 23 March 2016

    Persistent drought doubles the number of people in need of health assistance in Ethiopia

    The consequences of an El Niño-triggered drought – the country’s worst in in 30 years – are continuing to be felt across Ethiopia. The number of people in need of health assistance in Ethiopia is on the rise due to critically limited access to food, water and sanitation. More than 20 health partners, under the joint leadership of Ethiopia’s Federal Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization, now aim to reach 6.8 million people with emergency health interventions in 2016 – almost double the 3.6 million people originally planned for when the Humanitarian Requirements Document was launched in December 2015.


  • 11 December 2015

    Joint plans launched for response to drought, malnutrition and disease outbreaks in Ethiopia

    The World Health Organization (WHO) is working alongside the Ethiopian Ministry of Health and 22 partner organizations to respond to the health needs of 3.6 million people vulnerable to health and nutrition emergencies due to the El Niño weather phenomenon. Humanitarian partners came together in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, today to launch joint plans for the crisis response in 2016.

  • 4 December 2015

    Ethiopia needs major health support to stop devastation from El Niño

    With Ethiopia in the grip of its worst drought in 30 years due to El Niño, the World Health Organization (WHO) deployed an emergency response team to support the Ethiopian Ministry of Health and partners in coordinating the health sector response across the country.

  • 5 November 2015

    WHO Responds to El Niño Driven Emergency in Ethiopia

    WHO has been providing health and nutritional support to communities affected by health impact of increasing food insecurity and malnutrition in Sitti zone of Somali Regional State. Failure of rain for two consecutive seasons in many parts of the country is caused by the global El Niño phenomenon, resulting in a slow onset of natural disaster, according to a joint statement by His Excellency Mitiku Kassa, Secretary of the National Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Committee and Mr. John Aylieff, Acting Humanitarian Coordinator for Ethiopia.

  • 5 November 2015

    WHO Commits to Improve Health Situation in Gambella, Ethiopia

    Increasing reports of communicable diseases and presence of a large number of refugees from south Sudan heightened the need for strengthened public health emergency preparedness and response in Gembella Region.

  • 9 September 2015

    High Level Mission to Gambella - WHO Intensifies Support to Region's Emergency Preparedness

    A joint WHO mission composed of Ethiopia Country Office, the Africa Regional Office and the Horn of Africa Office for Polio Response Coordination visited health facilities and refugee communities in Gambella Regional State on 5 and 6 August 2015. The mission aimed to strengthen support to the refugee emergency response in the Region.

  • 24 August 2015

    WHO Ethiopia in Humanitarian Action

    WHO Country office Ethiopia is playing an essential role in supporting the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) to prepare for, respond to and recover from emergencies with public health consequences. To deliver on its core commitments and performance standards, the country office fulfils four critical functions in emergency response: leadership, information, and technical expertise and core services.


  • 21 April 2014

    Kulle Refugee Camp in Gambella Region, western Ethiopia, currently hosts about 35 000 of the 97 000 refugees from South Sudan taking shelter in three camps in the region. Almost 66 % of the refugees in Kulle are women and children. The WHO assessment team witnessed 22 April 2014 the concerning health conditions at the camp.



  • 28 September 2008

    WHO humanitarian chief meets Ethiopian Health Minister, health partners in Addis Ababa

    ADDIS ABABA -- The World Health Organization's top humanitarian relief official today welcomed major health achievements that have been made in Ethiopia. Dr Eric Laroche also committed WHO to supporting health partners to strengthen Ethiopia's emergency preparedness and improve conditions for people confronted by the food security crisis, cross-border population displacement and communicable diseases.

  • 11 July 2008

    Health risks add to crisis in Ethiopia

    GENEVA/ADDIS ABABA -- Worsening malnutrition and the threat of disease outbreaks are compounding Ethiopia's humanitarian crisis. WHO is working with the Government of Ethiopia and health partners to support the 4.6 million people needing urgent emergency food relief nationwide.

  • 12 June 2008

    Ethiopian Government and Partners Revise Current Humanitarian Requirements

    Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Agency


  • 21 September 2004

    Combining TB treatment with HIV testing and treatment could save lives of up to 500 000 HIV-positive Africans every year

  • 21 February 2004

    Post-war rehabilitation of the health system in Afar and Tigray regions completed

    February 21, 2004. Today WHO Representative for Ethiopia, Dr. Olusegun A. Babaniyi, the Ambassador of Norway, HE Ms Mette Ravn, and Regional State Officials have officially inaugurated the newly constructed Godefay Health Post.



  • 12 December 2000

    Norway and WHO Together to Restore Health Programs in War Affected Areas

    World Health Organization and the Norwegian Agency for Development Co-operation today signed a 3 million Birr agreement towards the implementation of health system rehabilitation initiative in war affected areas in northern Tigray and Afar regions. The programme is intended to assist Regional Health Bureaux in the reestablishment of a staggering 300 thousand internally displaced persons to their places of origin and resume their economic activity. An estimated thirty per cent of these are now reported by the government to be in the process of re-establishing their presence in their places of origin.

  • 18 April 2000

    Drought in the Horn of Africa

    Weekly press update of the UN Country Team on the current drought situation in Ethiopia.