More than 3.45 Million People Displaced in Ethiopia, More than Half Due to Conflict: New IOM Report

A drought-displaced mother with her newborn in an IOM-supported displacement site in Borena, Ethiopia's Oromia Region. Photo: IOM/ Kaye Viray

Addis Ababa – Over 3.45 million people were internally displaced in more than 2,500 assessed and accessible sites across 12 regions in Ethiopia, according to data collected by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), through its Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) methodology, between August and September 2023.  It is to be noted that Amhara region was largely uncovered this round due to increased insecurity.

IOM Ethiopia’s National Displacement Report 17 reveals that the main causes of displacement were conflict (64%), drought (17%) and social tension (9%). 

Somali region hosts the highest number of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) primarily due to drought, while Tigray region hosts the highest number of IDPs primarily displaced due to conflict.

A Village Assessment Survey (VAS) was also carried out during the same period to track returns. The VAS shows that an estimated 2.53 million returning IDPs were identified in over 2,000 villages across 11 regions. The highest returning IDP caseloads nationwide were in the regions of Tigray (59%), Amhara (15%), and Afar (8%). 

Since 2016, IOM has been monitoring the humanitarian and displacement situation through area-based assessments, which capture the numbers of displaced persons and returnees, their locations and needs, to inform the wider humanitarian and development response. 

IOM will continue to expand its assessment coverage across the country so that the needs of more IDPs can be assessed. Since 2018, DTM has been the official source for displacement data in Ethiopia and coordinates with the Ethiopia Disaster Risk Management Commission. 

The data is only indicative of the displacement and return in areas accessible to IOM enumerators and which fall under the tools’ methodology of assessing locations with at least 20 households with IDPs or returning IDPs (who have returned since 1 January 2021). Many locations remain out of reach to partners due to insecurity, road inaccessibility and social tension.

As part of its commitment to Accountability to Affected Populations (AAP) principles, IOM Ethiopia’s AAP and DTM teams have closely worked together on AAP implementation and mainstreaming in DTM operations. A snapshot report detailing the collaboration and findings of the AAP data collected can be found here. In addition, IOM’s Disability Advisor and the DTM team worked closely to incorporate disability inclusion barrier indicators within the DTM operation. The findings can be found in the snapshot report here, and it aims to shed light on the obstacles that people with difficulties seeing, hearing, walking, communicating and understanding for reasons other than language spoken, face in relation to their shelters, accessing distributions and using bathing facilities/latrines.

IOM Ethiopia’s National Displacement Report 17 (August to September 2023) can be found  here.

IOM DTM Site Assessment and Village Assessment Survey activities are funded by the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), the Ethiopian Humanitarian Fund, the Governments of Germany and Japan and the  United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

For more information, please contact: Kaye Viray, Media and Communications Coordinator,