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Rapid Humanitarian Response in Ethiopia

The devastating conflict in the North Shewa Zone of the Amhara region has resulted in the displacement of approximately 500,000 people. As the humanitarian crisis grows, men, women, boys and girls face grave risks such as food shortages, risk of sexual violence & abuse, psychological trauma and displacement among others. To help people whose lives and livelihoods have been shattered by conflict, Terre des Hommes Netherlands is implementing a rapid response project, funded by IRC/USAID to provide comprehensive child protection services, SGBV prevention and response services as well as psychosocial support to the victims of conflict in the North Shewa Zone of Amhara region.

The magnitude of the problem

The conflict in Ethiopia has claimed many lives, resulting in massive destruction of homes and infrastructure in addition to impacting the safety and well-being of hundreds of thousands of people. Educational institutions have been damaged and internally displaced children do not have access to education services. Furthermore, the conflict has exposed communities, especially women and children, to serious protection risks such as Gender-Based Violence, abuse and family separation. 

A recent multi-sectoral assessment conducted by UNOCHA revealed the high prevalence of gender-based violence (GBV), lack of child protection (CP) as well as access to psychosocial needs (PSS). While the majority of the internally displaced persons (IDPs) are living with the host communities, those who are living in collective centres, especially girls are exposed to gender-based violence due to overcrowding and inadequate shelters. Some girls who are displaced in towns are at high risk of sexual exploitation, forced labor, abuse, and trafficking. 

Many children experience stress and GBV risks when fleeing from their original homes. Also, some of the survivors have suffered psychological trauma due to the loss of family members, close relatives and property; coupled with challenges within the IDP sites. Some children/parents do not know where their parents/ children are living, while others are not sure whether they are alive. All these are causing psychological distress and unrest among the displaced children. The current situation and the lack of humanitarian assistance has forced the communities to use negative coping strategies. An example is the involvement of some women in “transactional sex” which exposes them to health risks.

Humanitarian response

To prevent the additional risks faced by internally displaced persons (IDPs) in affected areas, immediate protection services especially against gender-based violence, child protection and support to deal with the psychological trauma is needed. With the launch of the 6-month humanitarian response project, Terre des Hommes Netherlands will offer integrated prevention and response services to GBV victims, child protection support as well as psychosocial support to the most affected displaced people in Ataye, Debre Berhan, Efrata, Shewa Robit and Ansokia. 

Terre des Hommes Netherlands will work closely with key stakeholders including Government departments of Women and Social  Affairs, Disaster Preparedness and Prevention Center, Education, Health, Justice, Offices at Zonal and Woreda levels; and Civil Society Organizations working in the intervention areas.

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Outcome 1: Increased access to essential SGBV prevention and response services 

The project will ensure that internally displaced women, girls, boys and men have access to essential GBV prevention and response services. Some key activities include provision of comprehensive Case Management (CM) services to GBV survivors,  provision of cash/dignity kits and establishing functional referral mechanisms.

Outcome 2: Increased access to essential child protection and response services

The project will ensure that internally displaced women, girls, boys and men have access to essential child protection and response services. Key activities include the provision of emergency case management services to children who have experienced any form of violence, abuse, exploitation or neglect, provision of alternative care for children with protective and suitable care conditions, provision od individual protection assistance for parents and other caregivers of vulnerable children, training parents and other caregivers of vulnerable children on child protection issues and parenting skills

Outcome 3: The psychosocial well being of victims of violence improved among internally displaced persons

The project will ensure that internally displaced women, girls, boys and men who are victims of violence receive psychological support. Key activities include the provision of  psychosocial support  to GBV survivors  and the establishment of safe spaces for women and girls 

By the end of the project period, 15,000 individuals ( 2400 women, 6000 girls, 1600 men and 5000 boys ) will be reached.

More support is needed to help us ramp up our response efforts in Ethiopia to meet urgent needs in this humanitarian crisis. Help us save and protect children and families in Ethiopia in crisis. Partner with us today!

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