Where We Work


Hunger, Drought and Famine Risk

Severe drought conditions are expected to ease at least temporarily as above average spring 2018 rains are forecast to move through central and eastern parts of northern Ethiopia, providing a badly needed boost to local crops and pastoral grazing land, while also replenishing severely depleted water sources. However, authorities are also preparing for possible flash flooding in areas along river banks. Drought is one of two plagues that challenge Africa’s oldest independent country and has left an estimated 7.8 million people in need of humanitarian food assistance for their survival in the short-term and possibly longer. Ethiopia’s second challenge stems from a large and growing refugee population has been forced to flee armed conflicts in neighboring countries, including Somalia and South Sudan. International Medical Corps is providing important aid to address both these crises, including primary health care, mental health care and psychosocial support, nutrition, safe drinking water and hygiene assistance. We also administer a successful development program to improve the quality and diversity of household diet by supporting livestock ownership.


105 million


7.8 million


70% drop 

since 1990

Making Ethiopia More Resilient

Providing people with the tools and skills to build long-term resilience to food shortages is vital.

The Challenges


Ethiopia hosts nearly 900,000 refugees


7.8 million require immediate food assistance

Infant Mortality Rate

Ethiopia has one of the world’s highest infant mortality rates

Our Response

Drought Response: Nutrition and Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)

International Medical Corps has been working in Ethiopia for well over a decade, providing treatment for malnourished children and programs in water, sanitation and hygiene, food and livelihood security and comprehensive health care. Through its livelihood interventions that support the nutrition program, International Medical Corps has provided emergency seed distribution for nearly 15,000 households and livelihood support for another 1,400 families.

Current drought conditions have limited access to water in some regions, forcing residents–especially women and children–to travel longer distances for water, in some cases resorting to collect from possibly contaminated sources, including rivers, ponds and springs. Although a well-coordinated response is already underway in Ethiopia, growing needs for safe and potable water far exceed available resources. International Medical Corps has scaled up emergency response efforts in roughly half of the country’s 40 most affected districts, known as woredas. This support has included:

  • Providing access to clean water, improving sanitation facilities, and promoting safe hygiene practices
  • Distribution of Infant and Young Child Feeding information, education and communication materials
  • Screening for, and treatment of, severe and moderate acute malnutrition, and training health care workers on severe acute malnutrition management, public health emergency management, including admission/discharge criteria, reporting and recording
  • Providing logistical support to transport therapeutic foods, medications and other essential items to health centers and health posts

International Medical Corps is providing access to clean water, provision and improvement of sanitation facilities, promotion of safe hygiene practices. International Medical Corps’ WASH work focuses on strengthening health care and nutrition intervention services’ delivery at the facility level by establishing safe water supply and sanitation infrastructures. We also conduct regular hygiene awareness to enable communities better understand the threat of communicable diarrheal and other hygiene related diseases.

The WASH programming has served more than 440,000 people through water scheme rehabilitation, water trucking, water treatment chemical distribution, and hygiene and sanitation. International Medical Corps has built 367 water schemes, providing safe drinking water.

International Medical Corps has also established standby teams which deployed to the remote and hard to reach areas to provide much needed integrated WASH, nutrition and health assistance.

Refugee Response: Mental Health and Psychological Support (MHPSS), Sexual and Gender-based Violence (GBV)

International Medical Corps has established a Mental Health and Psychological Support program in five camps in Dolo Ado for Somali refugees and in four camps in Gambella for South Sudanese refugees. These program create access to community-based mental health and psychosocial support services for refugees and the vulnerable internally displaced persons.

International Medical Corps works to prevent and respond to gender based violence directed against South Sudanese and Somali refugees in the Gambella acrorss six refugees’ camps. International Medical Corps has been providing psychosocial support to survivors of Gender-based Violence in the camps and strengthening the capacity of camp service providers training them on basic counseling skills and psychosocial care.

International Medical Corps also provides training to health professionals from referral hospitals and camp-based clinics on the identification, reporting and clinical case management of GBV, STIs, and treatment for female genital mutilation.

In addition, International Medical Corps has established two women friendly centers-one in each camp. These women friendly spaces are platforms where women and girls report and receive psycho social support services, including referrals to specialized and more advanced care. In this centres, women participate in skills building activities. They are equipped with materials needed for recovery activities, including musical instruments, henna design, books and art supplies.

Livelihoods and Food Security

International Medical Corps administers a highly successful agricultural growth program Livestock Market Development —an initiative aimed at expanding livestock ownership for small land-holders while at the same time improving the quality and diversity of household diet and nutritional levels in poor rural areas. As with all International Medical Corps programs, it contains a large training component, including refresher trainings for health extension workers and their supervisors on maternal and child nutrition, strengthening care group volunteers’ awareness of the nutritional needs of pregnant and lactating mothers of children under two years old. Other areas of focus include training of beneficiaries on chicken production and management, conducting nutritional education and cooking lessons that focus on the livestock provided under the initiative.



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