The level of humanitarian needs in Ethiopia will remain high through 2019 as a result of mass inter-communal violence-induced displacement and related humanitarian and protection needs; widespread food insecurity and malnutrition due to recurrent drought impact; and disease outbreaks such as acute watery diarrhea (AWD), mainly due to poor WASH facilities in IDP sites and in drought and flood-impacted communities. In this highly complex humanitarian context and an ever increasing inter-communal violence and displacement, there is need for effective coordination between the international community and the Government, and between different clusters to ensure a coherent understanding of need, response approach and monitoring systems; and to mount a well-coordinated and principled response.
OCHA Ethiopia will continue to step up its coordination role, including through strengthening its field presence and the efficacy of the Inter-Cluster Coordination forum in support of the Humanitarian Coordinator (HC) and the entire Ethiopia Humanitarian Country Team (EHCT).
OCHA will strengthen its information management system making it more robust and flexible to enable an evidence-based and timely multi-sector response and monitoring. Starting in 2019, OCHA will work with clusters to develop a more regular inter-sector severity of needs analysis of the country.
OCHA will also support the required collective advocacy to enable timely fund-raising for the Ethiopia Appeal, and to ensure a principled and right-based approach especially in IDP response.
Given the increasing insecurity and political tension the country is facing and related access and protection concerns, OCHA Ethiopia will also strengthen monitoring of humanitarian access constraints and protection issues, and will continue to advocate for principled humanitarian action.
About OCHA Ethiopia
OCHA Ethiopia office was opened in 1984 to strengthen humanitarian preparedness and response throughout the country. At present, OCHA Ethiopia has a nationwide reach with a country office based in Addis Ababa, and eight sub-offices in Semera (Afar), Gambella Town (Gambella, also overseeing Benishangul Gumuz region), Hawassa and Dilla (SNNP), Mekele (Tigray), Gode and Jijiga (Somali) and Dire Dawa (overseeing East and West Hararge zones of Oromia region). The OCHA Oromia regional team is based out of the country office, overseeing regional presences and the Dire Dawa sub-office. The OCHA presences in Dilla (Gedeo zone, SNNP), Bule Hora (West Guji zone, Oromia) and Nekemt (East Wollega) are led by senior field-based staff members (stand-by-partners).
The OCHA Ethiopia footprint has a high level of mobility and can rapidly deploy staff from the Addis Ababa main office and sub-national offices. The office is currently manned by 84 staff, including 66 national staff (54 fixed term; 10 professional Service Contract; 2 professional consultants) and 18 international staff (13 fixed term and 5 stand-by-partners). In January 2019, OCHA Ethiopia finalized the recruitment of an Access Focal Point, who will closely work with the OCHA field presence to reinforce access and IDP analysis, as well as support the humanitarian community in access negotiations. These are critical functions in Ethiopia, taking into account the increased number of inter-communal violence, with the expectation that these will remain high until the electoral year of 2020. OCHA will review and adjust its structures and field presence as appropriate to reflect needs in the country.