Political situation in Ethiopia

The political environment in Ethiopia is undergoing a period of radical transformation under a new Prime Minister who took office in April 2018 and launched a vast programme of political and economic reforms. Since the second half of 2019, however, these reforms seem to have stagnated and the country is now witnessing more stringent control of the media, a state of emergency imposed in different parts of the country and the postponement of national elections. In November 2020 the Ethiopian National Defence Force (ENDF) launched an offensive in Tigray against Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF). Besides, violence in Ethiopia has steadily increased in recent months. As a direct result, thousands of people have been killed and millions displaced. National elections are now scheduled for June 2021 and given their significance, further outbreaks of violence are to be expected throughout the country.

HEKS Arbeit in Äthiopien
Abinet Teshome

HEKS/EPER work continues  

On the whole, HEKS/EPER projects in the country have so far not been directly affected. Most of the projects had to be paused, owing either to the state of emergency declared because of the COVID-19 outbreak in the country or to local violence. Despite these pauses, HEKS/EPER and its partners have been able to keep on delivering activities and people have continued to receive support. The situation in Ethiopia is still highly volatile and the outlook remains far from positive. NGOs, partners and the international community have not been directly impacted by the ethnic clashes or the government's restrictive new policies. Further disruption of activities and of access to the project area is expected around the time of the elections.


Humanitarian assistance

According to the 2020 Ethiopian Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP), an estimated 19.2 million people are in need of humanitarian support. Due to internal and external factors such as political instability and climate change, millions of Ethiopians have been forcibly displaced, disempowered, and are without basic services such as water, shelter, and sanitation. Refugees lack access to sanitation and safe drinking water. Food security and the health situation are rapidly deteriorating.
HEKS/EPER has responded to the needs of the displaced population. They have no access to sanitary facilities and clean drinking water. HEKS/EPER is therefore building urgently needed latrines and rehabilitating water points in order to improve access to clean water and enhance the general sanitation situation. HEKS/EPER Ethiopia has implemented several projects on the ground to respond quickly and effectively to this humanitarian crisis in four areas, namely the Oromia, Amhara, SNNPR and Somali regions. HEKS/EPER currently has a total of eight projects in these regions. These are being carried out in collaboration with local and international humanitarian organizations. This aid benefits around 86,000 people.


More about the work of HEKS in Ethiopia

Bettina Filacanavo
Bettina Filacanavo

Phone: +41 44 360 88 24
Mobile: +41 76 461 88 70
E-mail: bettina.filacanavo@heks.ch

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