Emergency Update: The worst Ethiopian drought in more than 50 years, driven by the changing weather patterns of El Niño, means that over 10 million people currently require food aid, and that number could increase to 15 million by the end of 2016. Pregnant women and children are especially vulnerable in a drought and more than 420,000 Ethiopian children are expected to need treatment for severe acute malnutrition this year. International Medical Corps has been working in the country for the past 13 years, providing treatment for malnourished children and programs in water, sanitation and hygiene, food and livelihood security and comprehensive health care. Since 2009, we have successfully treated nearly 100,000 children and pregnant and lactating women with malnutrition. International Medical Corps is extremely concerned about the situation and continues to monitor progress of the crisis while providing critical health care to vulnerable populations. Since 2011, we have established 83 outpatient programs and 8 in-patient stabilization centers to help treat children with severe acute malnutrition. Read more about our response to drought in the Horn of Africa.

Widely recognized as the cradle of human civilization, Ethiopia has a unique and diverse culture with its own alphabet, time system and calendar. Ethiopia is the second most populous country in Sub-Saharan Africa (94 million), with more than 80% living in rural, remote areas. Although experiencing significant economic growth, declining poverty and improving food security; continued stable growth remains crucial to achieving longer term sustainability. Ethiopia remains vulnerable to climate-related shocks, drought, flooding, disease and internal conflicts. High rates of maternal and infant mortality, limited access to potable water, lack of sanitation/hygiene facilities, poor nutrition and lack of food security continue to affect much of the population. Despite these internal challenges, Ethiopia also provides asylum and care to Africa’s largest refugee population (629,718 total) from South Sudan, Eritrea and Somalia.

Against this backdrop and since 2003, International Medical Corps has operated a diversified humanitarian and development program in Ethiopia, providing lifesaving, life-preserving and life-sustaining services. We provide support and training in Water, Sanitation & Hygiene (WASH), agricultural livelihoods, prevention of gender-based violence, nutrition, mental health, sexual reproductive health, primary health care, HIV/AIDS and other critically needed programs. International Medical Corps programs in Ethiopia work in rural, urban and refugee settings and are designed to be sustainable through full community participation. We are currently working together with families and communities in six regional states of Ethiopia.

Refugee Response

In the western Gambela regional state, close to 190,000 persons fleeing the conflict in South Sudan have sought asylum. International Medical Corps is providing gender-based violence (GBV), mental health and sexual reproductive health services to 150,000 refugees living in three refugee camps.

International Medical Corps also continues our work as the largest humanitarian partner in the Dolo refugee camps of the Somali regional state providing GBV, mental health, sanitation-hygiene and prevention of sexual exploitation/abuse services in three refugee camps with a total population of 120,000 refugees.


  • Population

    96.6 Million

  • age

    Median Age
    17.6 Years

  • life

    Life Expectancy
    60.75 Years

  • life


  • life

    Fertility Rate
    5.23 children per mother

  • Infant Mortality Rate

    Infant Mortality Rate
    55.77 deaths/1000 live births


  • Population


  • Population

    Women's and Children's Health

  • Population

    Water, Sanitation and Hygiene

  • Population

    Mental Health and Psychosocial Support

First Responders Making Ethiopia More Resilient

It’s not enough to respond to food crises when they happen. Providing people with the tools and skills to build longterm resilience to food shortages is vital. Find out how people in Wolyata, Ethiopia have worked together to successfully become resilient to the yearly danger of drought. Watch the video.

First Responders Making Ethiopia More Resilient

It’s not enough to respond to food crises when they happen. Providing people with the tools and skills to build longterm resilience to food shortages is vital. Find out how people in Wolyata, Ethiopia have worked together to successfully become resilient to the yearly danger of drought. Watch the video.


Nutrition Programs

Preventive, rather than curative, strategies are considered far more effective in mitigating malnutrition, which is one of the barriers to sustainable development in Ethiopia. Therefore, International Medical Corps supports acute malnutrition programs and provides essential nutrition services to the people who need it most. International Medical Corps establishes and supports programs in primary health care facilities to treat cases of severe and moderate acute malnutrition in children and pregnant and lactating women.

Our Infant and Young Child Feeding program focuses on nutrition for children in the first two years of life when optimal nutrition lowers morbidity and mortality and increases a child’s opportunity for normal development. These programs are particularly successful in Ethiopia and mothers are showing signs of increased knowledge, attitude and practice towards proper child feeding.

International Medical Corps implements Community-based Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) programs which provide essential nutrition services across Oromia, Somali, and Southern Nations-Nationalities-Peoples (SNNP) Regions. As an integral part of this program, we establish and support specialized programs for the treatment of severe and moderate acute malnutrition in children and pregnant and lactating women. International Medical Corps prioritizes training of community volunteers on screening and follow-up of malnourished children, and provides nutrition education focused on essential nutrition practices.

We also employ the innovative Mother Care Group approach, through which we train local mothers to convey healthy nutrition practices and other useful child-rearing tips to other mothers in their communities. This preventative strategy is based on stopping malnutrition before it takes hold.

Maternal and Child Health, Reproductive Health, HIV and AIDS and Adolescent Youth Programs

International Medical Corps in Ethiopia integrates Maternal-Child Health, Reproductive Health, HIV and AIDS and Adolescent Youth programs into all of its programming. It supports HIV positive patients; equips health centers with medical equipment, clean delivery kits and drugs for Basic Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care; treats STIs and provides family planning methods. International Medical Corps’ trained youth club members are also disseminating SRH information to their peers through group discussion, mass education, drama and music.

International Medical Corps works with Ethiopia’s Ministry of Health to improve the health of mothers and children by training healthcare workers and caregivers on the integrated management of childhood illnesses. We provide iron foliate capsules to pregnant and lactating women and clean delivery kits to new mothers to help them protect their newborns from infectious diseases. We distribute insecticide-treated mosquito nets to caregivers of children under five years of age to protect them from malaria. Our interventions improve the attitudes and practices of mothers regarding infant and young child feeding and enables mothers to understand the importance of breastfeeding immediately after childbirth, and to exclusively breastfeed for the first six months of life.

International Medical Corps is committed to safeguarding the reproductive health of Ethiopian women and girls by improving awareness of maternal health needs and harmful traditional practices and the prevention of HIV/AIDS. We educate women and girls about the importance of family planning, institutional labor/delivery and the prevention of female genital mutilation. We also provide re-usable dignity kits to women of reproductive age. New SRH interventions in the Gambela region are targeting women of reproductive age from the rapidly growing South Sudanese refugee population.

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Water, Sanitation and Hygiene

WASH programs reduce susceptibility to diarrhea-related morbidity and mortality among malnourished children and pregnant or lactating women who lack access to safe drinking water and sanitation facilities. As part of the WASH program, International Medical Corps staff constructs communal latrines in health centers and installs roof rain water harvesting systems. We procure and donate water storage containers and water purification materials to households and health posts. We rehabilitate a water boreholes; shallow hand dug wells and springs that improve water supply systems. We construct sex-segregated institutional latrines, in additional to medical waste incinerators and placenta pits at various public health facilities. Furthermore, we provide training to health workers and community volunteers on Community-Led Total Sanitation and hygiene.

International Medical Corps currently works in three Somali refugee camps to improve access to sanitation and hygiene facilities for over 130,000 refugees. These efforts complement the ongoing emergency nutrition and health programs International Medical Corps is already running in these camps. Through mass awareness campaigns and home visits, International Medical Corps educates refugees on hand-washing, hygienic latrine usage, safe-water chains and solid waste disposal. Waste collection sacks are provided to families for deposit in waste collection bins throughout the camps, and donkey carts are then utilized to transport solid waste to safe landfills.


Ethiopia Capabilities Statement

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Wolayta Ethiopia Program Brief - October 2016

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