Families forced to flee in Ethiopia

Conflict has forced people to leave their homes in Ethiopia. See how we’re responding.

Millions of people have been forced to flee their homes because of violent conflicts and climate change in Ethiopia.

Inter-community violence in West Guji and Gedeo has uprooted many families, whilst flash flooding and drought in other areas have caused even more people to leave their homes.

The Ethiopian government has been making efforts to find a peaceful resolution to the violence so that people can return home safely and receive the aid they need.

But the challenges were great. Many families were moving back, only to find their homes destroyed, reoccupied or looted.

How are we helping?


With the support of our partner, IOM (the International Organization for Migration), we have provided aid in West Guji through our latest project.

A total of 3,500 families received vital aid since May.

Through our trusted partner, we have been providing vital aid like tarpaulins, ropes, wash basins, soap, water carriers, sleeping mats and other household items to families who are going through this difficult time.

Distributions of essential aid are now complete for our latest project.

Woman in Ethiopia receiving ShelterBox aid
ShelterBox and IOM aid distributions in ethiopia

Due to the spread of coronavirus, the Ethiopian government had closed its borders earlier in 2020, except for the import of essential goods, including humanitarian aid. Our latest project has been supporting the coronavirus country response as well as the emergency shelter displacement needs.

Coronavirus mitigations have been put in place for distributions to ensure the safety of IOM staff and the communities receiving the aid.

IOM staff have been using masks and disinfecting all material used at distributions as well as providing handwashing stations. Our partners have also included coronavirus health and prevention messaging and banners at distributions. Finally, each distribution only involved a maximum number of 50 people, to ensure physical distancing was being followed.

Providing training


Alongside our physical aid items, we have previously distributed Information, Education and Communication (or IEC) materials.

IEC materials use images to communicate key messages about aid items. Pictures ensure that people who may not be able to read can still benefit from the materials.

In addition to our training sessions, the IEC materials have been used to share important messages about how to use our tarpaulins, rope, mosquito nets and water carriers.

For example, our tarpaulins can be split along a seam to provide two narrower tarpaulins, and they have black reinforced bands that should be used for fixings.

For water carriers, the IEC encouraged people to use wells to collect their drinking water, instead of other more dangerous water sources.

Disasters don't stop

Our work will never stop until we see a world where no family is left without shelter in the face of a devastating natural disaster or conflict.

Have a look at some of the other countries in the world where families received ShelterBox shelter and essential aid.