Ethiopia has a long history of hosting refugees and maintains an open-door asylum policy, giving humanitarian access and protection to those seeking refuge.

At the end of September 2017, it hosted a total of 883,546 refugees mainly from neighbouring countries, making it the second largest refugee-hosting country in Africa. More than 99 per cent of them originate from four countries: South Sudan, Somalia, Eritrea and Sudan.

Most are accommodated in 26 refugee camps with limited services and opportunities, and depend largely on humanitarian assistance.

Ethiopia is one of the first five African countries participating in the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF), a set of commitments set out by the UN General Assembly in its 2016 New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, designed to improve ways of protecting people on the move.

The Ethiopian government’s refugee agency, the Administration for Refugee and Returnee Affairs, and UNHCR, have drawn up a plan on how to implement the CRRF’s nine pledges, outlining opportunities and partnerships to be put in place.

The country is incorporating the pledges into a legally-binding comprehensive proclamation, expected to be approved by parliament in October.

(Updated March 2018)

For information about our work in Ethiopia:

  • For legislation, case law and UNHCR policy relating to claims for international protection, visit Refworld.
  • For up-to-date information about our programmes and operations in Ethiopia, including funding level and donor contributions, visit Global Focus, UNHCR's reporting portal.

Contact Information

For information about our operation in Ethiopia, please contact us through our Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.