EU and People in Need provided humanitarian assistance to 100,000 people in Ethiopia

Published: Mar 17, 2021 Reading time: 5 minutes
EU and People in Need provided humanitarian assistance to 100,000 people in Ethiopia
© People in Need

People in Need (PIN) has completed a 12-month, multisectoral response to help meet the acute needs of vulnerable communities in southern Ethiopia. Launched in April 2020, the project aided more than 100,000 internally displaced people (IDPs), returnees, and host communities in the West Guji and Gedeo Zones in the Oromia Region and the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples' Region (SNNPR). It was funded by the European Union Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) and the Czech Development Agency (CZDA). 

The intervention addressed the regions’ acute water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) needs, as well as the extreme water insecurity of the local populations. Emergency shelter kits – including plastic sheets, ropes, and other materials – were provided for 3,110 vulnerable IDP and returnee households, reaching a total of 15,550 individuals. The same households received kitchen, mosquito, and bedding sets.

In addition, 2,900 households received WASH kits, which included bars of laundry and body soap, jerrycans, buckets, and wash basins; these items were intended to cover the households’ hygiene needs for three months. Mesfin Gizaw, Head of PIN Ethiopia Emergency Programmes, says: “Priority groups, including women and children at risk, the disabled or chronically ill, female-, child-, and elderly-headed households, and large families were the beneficiaries of the intervention.”

Additionally, multipurpose cash transfers were made to 1,090 households comprising 5,450 individuals to help them cover basic needs without having to further liquidate their productive assets.

In order to improve the preparedness of health facilities for COVID-19, and to prevent acute diarrhoea outbreaks, WASH interventions were also implemented in health institutions. Mesfin says: “Priority was given to the construction of hand washing facilities in health centres.” These structures were built to be either free-standing near the institutions, or adjacent to latrines. The hand washing facilities have also been connected to permanent water supply and storage tanks to enable their uninterrupted use, and they have been equipped with WASH items such as soap, buckets, brushes, disinfectants, and bleach.

To help prevent the spread of diseases, including COVID-19, the programme also delivered messages on healthy hygiene practices, reaching an estimated 77,500 people. Mesfin says: “PIN selected and trained health extension workers and health development volunteers on diarrhoea, dysentery, and diseases transmitted by viruses. These trained volunteers then carried out public health and hygiene awareness- raising campaigns.”

PIN has also rehabilitated both shallow and deep wells and constructed water storage tanks. Mesfin explains: “For this intervention, we prioritised the most populated areas, areas where damage to the well was caused by extensive use during the displacement crisis, areas where non-functioning, shallow wells were in close proximity to IDP collection sites, and areas where there are high numbers of returnees (over 30 percent).” Rehabilitation of the wells included replacement of the entire pump set, deepening and disinfection of the well, and construction of the upper components and fencing. As part of this intervention, 10 shallow wells and two boreholes, providing 14,500 individuals with a minimum amount of 15 litres per person per day, were rehabilitated.

The three water storage tanks that were constructed at health facilities as part of the project will be used in areas where water distribution lines work irregularly, or deliver water only at specific times. The tanks have been connected to distribution lines, rainwater collection systems from roofs, and to the water supply systems of the individual health institutions. PIN extended the pipeline from the storage tanks to the health facilities to ensure reliable access to safe water.

In order to promote self-reliance and the involvement of the targeted population in the management of the rehabilitated water infrastructure, as well as to minimise the risk of well failure, PIN provided capacity building training on the water systems and their financial management to 12 newly-established or recently restarted water committees. Commenting on the longer-term sustainability of PIN’s work, Mesfin says: “This activity should strengthen community-based water supply management, including the promotion of community contributions, leading to improvements in the self-reliance of communities.”

“With over 2 million people displaced in Ethiopia, the EU prioritises meeting immediate basic needs and concerns of the most vulnerable among the displaced in Ethiopia,” says Yassine Gaba, the head of the EU Humanitarian Aid office in Addis Ababa. “We are pleased that working with a partner like PIN, our joint humanitarian efforts, especially through cash transfers, reached many targeted and vulnerable families within a short time.”

People in Need

People in Need (PIN) is a non-governmental, non-profit organisation founded in 1992 on the ideals of humanism, freedom, equality, and solidarity. It has grown into a well-respected humanitarian aid organisation, striving to provide aid in crisis countries around the world. PIN is currently one of the largest non-profit organisations in Central Europe, often working with affected people in complex conflict settings and hard-to-reach areas. PIN has been providing development and humanitarian services throughout Ethiopia for the last 16 years.

European Union Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations

The European Union Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operation (ECHO) department has been providing assistance to people in need since 1992. It addresses human suffering, with particular attention to the most vulnerable groups of people, while respecting the dignity of all victims. It does not favour any side in conflict, it provides solely on the basis of need, without any kind of discrimination, and is independent of any agenda, be it political, economic, or military.

Czech Development Agency

The Czech Development Agency is a state organisation under the authority of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic and an implementing body of the development cooperation of the Czech Republic. The main goals of the Czech Development Agency include reducing poverty, improving quality of life, and supporting sustainable development.

For more information, please get in touch with:

Mr. Abdul Manaf Abdeen, PIN Ethiopia Country Director, +251.916828852,

Ato. Mesfin Gizaw, PIN Ethiopia Head of Emergency, +251.960403676,

Autor: People in Need

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