Disaster Preparedness and Response


One of the oldest and well known Red Cross service by the community is the relief distributions for the people affected by the manmade and natural disaster. this service was started  and full recognized by the Government and community since 1985 Wollo drought that affected livelihoods of  thousand peoples in the history of the country.

Since that the Department was established and provide the relief actives based on the resources that mobilized from external sources. however this department change its name and activates based on the Government policy and country contexts. In 2014 the department was separated in to two (Disaster preparedness and response(DPR) and disaster risk reduction(DRR)). So the newly established  Disaster preparedness and response department consists three coordinators: Emergency preparedness and  response coordinator, Emergency health coordinator and Restoring family link coordinator. 

 Based on the above mentioned coordination the following activities undertaken by the DPR department. 

1. Emergency preparedness and response 

 1.1.ERCS disaster response interventions between 2012 and 2014 in disaster affected areas

1.1.1. Introduction

One can witness the negative impacts of drought has been declining from time to time in Ethiopia. Though in some arid areas, the problem of water, pasture and consequently the pastoral livelihood still suffers, many humanitarian reports reveled that no human death due to drought related famine in the last recent years. ERCS has been engaged in provision of food only in response to 2011 drought emergency, financed by the Federation, partner national societies and donors. The operation carried out in 2012 and   assisted137,597 people through blanket food distribution in Moyale Oromia,Mieo,Dire and Seba Boru woreda of Guji and Bule hora  woreda of Borena zones.

In the last three years (2012-2014) ERCS provided mainly emergency shelter and non food assistances for conflict, flood and fire affected people in different parts of the country. ICRC has been the major partner in supporting the ES/NFI support for conflict affected households since the last many years. UNICEF and IOM are the Non Movement partners supporting ERCS in responding ES/NFI to the conflict, flood and fire affected people since July 2013.

In addition to the provision of ES/NFI to those conflict affected people (Bench Maji in 2012,East Hareghe in 2013 and Guji borena in 2014), ERCS with the support obtained from ICRC provided IDPs with agricultural seeds and tools with the objective of rehabilitating the damaged livelihood of the conflict affected people. In this report only the livelihood assistance given for Bench Maji and East Harerghe has been discussed.

1.1.2. Distribution of NFIs among disaster affected people in 2012-2013

1.1. 2.1. Responses for Conflict affected people SNNPR, Bench Maji zone

In SNNPR Bench Maji, conflict among Surma, Dizzy and other ethnic groups is very common and has long history in the past. It has remained the major causes of human and livestock death and Injury in the country. Cattle looting, destruction of houses, livelihood, environment and displacement of many people in the zone as a result of such conflict has been the most frequently observed phenomena in these areas.

ERCS Bench Maji branch together with ERCS HQ and ICRC conducted a rapid assessment in March 2012.The information obtained from the local community reveled that deaths of over 35 people from Surma and Dizzy ethnic groups, the destruction of 182  houses, displacement of over 386 households and damage on substantial livelihood and infrastructures.

ERCS jointly with ICRC provided the conflict affected 386 households with 650 blankets,524 sleeping mats,566 jerry cans 312 rolls plastic sheeting,227 tarpolines,422 kitchen set,772 plastic plates and cups that worth more than 634,040 birr. Boarder along Oromia and Benshangul Gumuz regions

The other conflict prone areas where ERCS had been engaged in response intervention are the bordering areas in Benshangul Gumuz and western part of  oromia regions.In March 2012 over 366 HHs in Benishangul Gumuz region and 125 HHs in Oromia region west wollega zone were displaced due conflict between the two ethnic groups.

In response to these disaster the ERCS HQ together with ICRC has provided the displaced people in West Wellega with 12 rolls of plastic sheeting,10 carton used cloth,250 plastic mat,250 jerry cans,250 soap,125 kitchen set and 250 blankets for 125 HHs affected by conflict arising between Oromo and Gumuz ethnic groups. Similarly 366 kitchen set,732 sleeping mat, 732 blanket, 732 laundry soap, 366 jerry cans, 366 body soap and 36 rolls of plastic sheeting were given for 366 HHs affected by conflict same above in Benshangul gumuz region., Oromia and Afar regions 

Some recent experiences reveled that conflict particularly resource based intra and inter conflict have been the most common in Somali region of Ethiopia. Such conflict aggravated more during drought season when pasture and water become scarcer and as a result of claims of regional boundaries. The July 2012 conflict between Borena (oromo) and Geri and Gerba (somali)ethnic groups  could be mentioned as an example. In this conflict many villages in Moyale town called Chamuk,Melab ,Medo,Migo and Shewaber have been entirely destroyed and more than 11,692 households or 65,274 people  were displaced from their villages and temporarily settled in a place called Gambu in Moyale Kenya.

In response to the above conflict, through July to September 2012 different non food items comprising 4,000 blankets, 4,000 sleeping mat, 4,000 jerry cans, 2,000 kitchen set and 2,000 tarpaulins contributed by ERCS and ICRC have been distributed among targeted most vulnerable 2000 households’ (1,000 HHs from Oromo and 1,000 HHs from Somali ethnic groups living along the adjacent districts) who returned from Moyale Kenya as the security situation in the Ethiopian side has been improved.

As a consequence of the conflict between Oromo and Somali ethnic groups in January 2013 in East (7,901 HHs) and West Harerghe (522 HHs) zones of Oromia, a total of 8,423 households had been displaced in four woredas of the East Harerghe zone such as Chnatsan, Gursum, Meyu Muluka and Kumbi and Mieso woreda of West Harerghe. 

In addition to the wide spread human displacement 348 houses were totally burned. The damaged houses includes residential quarters and government offices (administration, finance health and educational offices and their property) in the above four districts of East Harerghe. The damage of over 301 quintals of different varieties of crops and the looted 794 livestock has made the living condition of the displaced people more miserable as their livelihood has been deteriorated. 

In response to this conflict ERCS/ICRC provided a total of  512 displaced households in the three woredas (Chinagsan,Gursum and Meyu Muluka) with 1,024 blankets,1024 sleeping mats 1024 laundry soap,1,536 plastic plate,1,536 spoon,512 water jerry cans and 5 rolls of plastic sheeting in Mid February 2013,. At this stage the 7,389 displaced households in Kumbi woreda of East Harerghe were not assisted as their number was very large and the NFIs available in both ERCS and ICRC stores were inadequate. The total cost incurred in respond to this conflict was over 709,744 birr or 36,397 CHF.

Similarly in West Harerghe,Mieso woreda,Obensa kebele, 29 houses fully damaged and the property of 493 households looted by the Somali tribes using bombs and other artilleries. The death of one person and the injury of 3 persons were also reported in West Harerghe in Mid February 2013. Similar amount of items have been provided for 522 conflict affected households in Mieso woreda of West Harerghe in the same period.

Another huge human displacement and damages reported in Mid April 2013 for the second time due to conflict between the same ethnic groups. In this conflict over 5,850 households were displaced as reported by East Harerghe DPPB office. Based on verification assessment conducted jointly with ERCS and ICRC team 9,888 blankets (2 each), 9,888 sleeping mats (2 each), 9,888 jerry cans (2 each), 4,944 kitchen set (1 each) and 4,944 trampoline (1 each) were provided for 4,944 targeted IDP households in four districts of East Harerghe.At that time it was ICRC that provided the entire emergency shelter and non food assistance and cover the expenditure. The total cost was calculated as 11,700,000 birr or 600,000 CHF including the operational cost.

The conflict between Afar and Somali ethnic groups has been historical and very common along the border of these two regions. According to the recent report obtained from Somali region DPPB,over 400 households were affected in Shinile/Citi zone of Somali region, Afdem woreda between March and July 2013.The conflict between these ethnic groups in the first week of July 2013 resulted to the death of 4 people including a young girl. In addition 2975 head of shoat (sheep and goats) and 36 cattle have been looted, 241 traditional Somali houses have been burnt with all their assets, 125 displaced households in Danlahelay Kebele mainly women and children who either live with their relatives or in self-made simple houses in a difficult condition.

Nothing has been provided for this conflict affected households due to resource limitation from ERCS side

According to the UNOCHA led multi agency assessment conducted in Mid August 2013 and the information obtained from ERCS East Harerghe branch, 5,820 HHs or 34,077 displaced from 11 kebeles in Meyu, 1,733 HHs or 16,356 displaced in 8 kebeles of Qumbi districts of East Harerghe.It has also been reported the death of 54 (51 in Meyu, 3 in Qumbi ) and the injury of 51 people (44 in Meyu 7 in Kumbi),. 595 houses burnt in Meyu and 172 houses in Kumbi

In response to the mid August conflict in East Harerghe ERCS jointly with IOM provided full emergency shelter and non food items for 2,022 conflict affected households in four kebeles of Meyu woreda.Similarly ERCS in collaboration with ICRC provided full emergency shelter and NFIs for 1,178 conflict affected households in three kebeles of Meyu woreda in September 2013.

Following the heavy rain, floods in many part of the country have been the major disasters that affected many people in 2012. The heavy rain that caused flooding in June has been more intensified in the months of July, August and September 2012 affecting more than 4,490 people in Amhara ( North Wollo, North Gonder, North Shewa and towns of Gonder and Bahir Dar), Oromia (Jima zone, East Shewa zone, West Shewa zone and South West Shewa), SNNPR (Kembata and Timabaro zones) and parts of Addis Ababa around Ambassador Theatre. The flooding in the zones of Kembata Timabaro in SNNPR district, Jima and Gambela region were particularly severe and led to the deaths of 7,4 and 2 people and displaced 55,175 and more than 7,000 households respectively. In response to the flood disaster different NFIs have been distributed among the affected people taken from the pre positioned stocks at central warehouse, strategic warehouses and ICRC stocks.

The heavy rain in Mid September 2012 overwhelmed the Baro, Gillo and Jikawo Rivers killed 2 people in the Itang woreda and displaced a total of 7,407 people in Gambela town, Gambela Zuria, Itang, Lare, Mekuye and Wantawa districts in the Gambela region.  Despite the severity of the floods in Gambela region, ERCS has been unable to respond to the needs of communities in the affected areas as its non food items have been depleted and the non food items stored in the western strategic direction is not sufficient to reach the affected people.

In between February and end of September 2013 a total of 4,765 flood affected households assisted through half kit emergency shelter and NFI provision in Addis Ababa,North Wollo,West Harerghe,Sidama,Silta,East Shewa,South Gonder and South West Shewa.The emergency shelter and non food items provided for these households were drown the majority from ERCS central warehouse and some strategic warehouses found in four geographic directions.

 Dawa Cefa district in Oromia special zone of Amhara region was the severely flood affected area than any other areas in the country in 2013 where 29 people and 129 livestock died,573 households or 2,575 people affected and over 1,104 hectares of cropland damaged.

In response to this devastating flood, ERCS together with IOM provided full shelter and non food items for 573 flood affected households in Dawa Chefa district, Kelo rural kebele and Kemisse town between 22 and 23 August 2013. Based on the cooperation agreement signed between ERCS and IOM on 31 July 2013, IOM supplied ERCS with 573 full shelter and non food items adequate for people affected by the flood disaster in special Oromia zone of Amhara region.

In addition to some basic ES and NFI (641 blankets and 3 feeding kits),ERCS together with UNICEF provided the south West Shewa flood affected 641 households with 1,282 plastic cups,1,282 plastic plates,641 ladle and 800 soap.

Flood impact and ES/NFI distribution in East Shewa (Oromia region) and Dawa Chefa (special zone of Oromia (Amhara region)

ES/NFI distribution for flood affected households in Oromia special zone (Kemise),Amhara region

Wild and sometimes human induced fire has been one of the disasters affected many people in Ethiopia in the last three years. Though the number of people affected by fire relatively small as to comparing to conflict and flooding, still substantial number of people are suffering from this disaster. For example ERCS provided ES/NFI for 442 and 518 households affected by fire disaster in 2012 and 2013.In the year 2014, the number of fire affected people by fire disaster has been growing termondosely 1,093 households which was almost twice the 2013.This shows an increasing trend of fire disaster in the country.

The major areas affected by fore disaster are those located in SNNP region. The zones include Hadiya,Silita,Kembata.These zones are the most populous and the majority of the population live in congested environment. The other fire prone areas are South and North Wollo in Amhara, South West shoa in Oromia and the driest parts of Afar.

In bench Maji zone of SNNPR over 935 households were displaced as a result of internal conflict between the two minor ethnic groups Surma and Dizzey in March 2012.In response to this, in addition to various non food items pre positioned and distributed by Bench Maji zone, ERCS/ICRC jointly provided non food items such as 650 blankets, 524 sleeping mats,4 rolls of plastic sheeting,322 kitchen set,526 jerry cans. The branch was also provided some high energy biscuits by its own fund.

After the opening of the eco-sec department in ICRC in 2013, based on the post conflict need assessment conducted by ERCS/ICRC joint team, the rehabilitation of the conflict affected households took place in Bench Maji Maji zone .A total of 935 conflict affected households provided with improved variety of seeds and agricultural tools. A total 11,687 kg BH-14 maize variety was distributed among 935 HHs (12.5kg per household) .In additions each household provided with 935 pick axe and 935 spade that is important for the preparation of the agricultural land. The seasonal provision of the improved variety of seeds and tools enabled the conflict affected households to produce good agricultural products and rehabilitate themselves and their family.

It was noted that, resource based conflict was the major humanitarian challenge in the year 2013 in Ethiopia. Such conflict was very serious and rampant especially along the regional boarders of Somali and Oromia. In that year over 9,178 conflict affected households of which 8,000 households belongs to East Harerghe were displaced and sheltered in three districts of the zone namely Meyu Mulukie,Gursum and Kumbi. Although these people supplied with ES/NFI by ERCS/ICRC assistance program their livelihood was not addressed in 2013.

In 2014 the 8,000 conflict affected households have been targeted to receive agricultural seeds and tools with the objective of rehabilitating their livelihood. Accordingly ERCS/ICRC supplied the 8,000 conflict affected households with 100,000 kg or 1,000 quintal of improved variety of maize,80,000 kg or 800 quintals of improved variety of sorghum (with a rate of 10kg sorghum per household and 12.5kg of maize per household)  and agricultural tools including 8,000 Harar shovel and 8,000 Dengora/Harar digging hoe. These support believed to improve the damaged livelihood in the past year and build their livelihood capacity for the preceding harvest seasons.

ERCS together with its movement and non movement partners provided essential shelter and non food items for a total of 12,442 households affected by different disasters In 2014.The lion share of the assistance 8,604HHs (69.2%) contributed by ICRC.A total of 5,901 HHs affected by conflict received full non food items mainly in Mejeng zone of Gambela, Bench Maji zone of SNNPR,Guji zone of Oromia and Moyale Ethiopia.

Based on the request of ERCS, ICRC provided five type of non food items including 3,656 blankets, 3,656 sleeping mats,3,656 water jerry cans,1,828 kitchen set and 1,828 tarpaulins for the targeted 1,828 conflict affected households in Godera and Mengeshi woredas of Gambela region. The total cost of the items is estimated 164,520 CHF or 3,290,400 ETB. This does not include the operational cost. The ICRC provided non food items have been transported to the capital city of Mejeng zone Meti town using three private trucks and two ICRC trucks since 21 st September 2014.The items further dispatched and distributed among 1,828 households living in five kebeles namely Chemi 316 HHs, Meti 66 HHs, Goshiney 77HHs,Kumi 120HHs,Shoney 449HHs and Yeri 800HHs kebeles of Godera and Mengeshi woredas of Mejeng zone between 23 September and 7 October 2014.

ICRC has also provided ERCS with 1,000 tarpaulins and 1,000 kitchen set to supplement the Swiss Red Cross support in response to Kenyan refugee in Moyale Ethiopia. Furthermore, ERCS/ICRC provided full NFI kits among 500 conflict affected households in Guji zone of Oromia region. In addition to the conflict response ERCS and ICRC provided partial NFI kits for 1,093 fire 1,362 flood, 161 landslide and 87 hail affected households mainly in SNNPR,Somali,Amhara and Oromia regions.

The non food  items have been provided from ERCS/ICRC contingency stocks stored in central warehouse in Addis Ababa.In addition,141 households inflicted by ethnic conflict in West Wollega have been provided with partial kits drown from Western Strategic warehouse located at Nekemet. The assistance believed to contribute a lot in alleviating the suffering of people affected by conflict and other disasters in the country.

2. Emergency health 

The unit has organized under Disaster Preparedness and Response department. Currently, the unit has 4 staffs. These are one health in emergency unit coordinator, one Ambulance and FA program officer, and two HIV/AIDS prevention, care and support project officers.

The ongoing program and projects include:

1. First Aid and Ambulance service program

2. HIV/AIDS prevention, care and support program

3. Ebola Virus Disease preparedness – DREF operation

4. Emergency appeal operation for South Sudanese refugees in Gambela region

2.1. First Aid and Ambulance service program

Historical Back Ground

ERCS starts its Ambulance service in 1952 in Addis Ababa and has considerably developed and expands the service since then. ERCS is the one who provide free of charge nationwide 24 hrs service. The ambulance service is delivered in organized manner with Regional, Zonal & Wereda branch offices. Currently the Ambulance service is providing within 197 organized stations by 285 Ambulance vehicles throughout the country. The service is given by trained first aider youth volunteer. 

ICRC provides grant donation Ambulance vehicles and engaged in providing Ambulance management manual for its sustainability. At the same time training on first aid, TOT training, First aid Kit production and different development programme and workshop undertaken. After all limitless effort, local community can able to create sense of owner ship.


ERCS Ambulance service is given in collaboration with local, Municipalities and Wereda administration with 30-50 KM radius and also based on the need and negotiation with local community. Thus ERCS can address more than 35 thousand people by those 285 ambulance Vehicles annually. Additional 26 new stations are under preparation to be operation by the coming budget year. ERCS work in close collaboration with ICRC, IFRC, PNSs, Municipalities, Embassies, International and Local NGOs to support and to address the beneficiaries at large.

Ambulance service is given for natural disaster manmade conflicts and other health emergency condition.


ERCS organize its own regional branches in all 9 regions and 2 city administration. Furthermore, regional branches open at Zonal and district level.  Those wereda branches are the responsible to lead and administer daily Ambulance service, First Aid Training, First aid Kit Production, budget allocation after MOU is signed with local government official, report compilation, and collection of money from the local administration for new vehicles purchase .ERCS is strongly engaged in service coordination, and routine service management.

Impact on service

Even though the budgetary allocation for the service is expected from Local Municipalities and Wereda administrations some of them are not in a position to cover running cost like Fuel, oil maintenance, salary, and Vehicles replacement at vehicles off road (VOA).

Future Plan

ERCS also plan 

1. To improve the service to advanced pre hospital emergency service.

2. Organize Commercial  First Aid training centers within each regional branch. 

3. Organize First Aid Kit Production within each regional branch.

4. Deploy pool Ambulance Vehicles at head Quarter, at Regional and zonal branches.

5. Organize and developed the unit with modern Fleet management to address the beneficiary at any point.


Background Information

The Ethiopian Red Cross Society (ERCS) established HIV/AIDS coordination unit in 1998 within the program department and launched the program in two ERCS branches by Danish Red Cross (DRC) support. As of 2006 DRC kept on supporting five branches ( AddisAbaba,North Shoa,Jimma,East Hararghe and Dire Dawa)and  the Netherlands Red Cross (NLRC) four branches  (South West Shoa,Wolaita,Sidama andGamo Gofa).    The activities  have been formulated in line with the global alliance of International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC) approaches in line of the polices and guidelines of the governmental HIV/AIDS prevention and control coordination office (HAPCO) and the ERCS HIV program manual. 


The goal of ERCS HIV and AIDS prevention, care and support program with the support of DRC is to contribute to the government’s effort in reducing the number of new HIV infection and its impact in the community in the target area.


1. Build the capacity of the community to respond in the prevention and control of HIV infection and its impacts.

2. Improve the quality of life and productivity of PLHIV and OVC through care and support.

3. Strengthen the capacity of ERCS to implement and manage the program efficiently and effectively. 

The main Interventions of the project

The Danish Red Cross funded HIV program is being implemented at the five ERCS Branches namely : Addis Ababa, North Shoa, Dire Dawa, E.harerege and Jimma and the Netherlands funded  .project in South West Shoa,Sidama,Wolaita  and Gamo Gofa branches with the following major activities :


The prevention component is intended to reduce HIV transmission by creating awareness and behavioral change; through equipping youth in school with basic HIV education & life skill, to reach at risk population (youth out of school, commercial sex workers and prisoners)   by building knowledge, attitude, beliefs and skills needed to engage in healthy behaviors, to reduce stigma, discrimination and harmful traditional practices; promotion of VCT.Mobilizing the community, individuals, groups, or organizations  to plan, carry out, and evaluate activities on a participatory and sustained basis to improve their health and other needs, either on their own initiative or stimulated by others through house hold focused approach. 

Care & support 

The care and support component focuses on PLHIV & OVC support that covers the home based care service for bedridden PLHIVs, provision of nutritional support and seed money for income generating activities (IGA) to reduce vulnerability of PLHIV and make them productive. Provision of scholastic support,   psychosocial support   and school IGA for the orphaned and vulnerable children is also intended to maintain school attendance.

As to ensuring the sustainability the support, ERCS initiates the strong involvement of community and the relevant government offices and other stakeholders in the area after the programme exits.

Project progress (2009 -2013)

A total of 263,807 youths in school were reached through peer education program which is intended to create awareness and behavioral change with basic HIV education and life skill principles.

1. A total of 14009 high risk population (youth out of school, commercial sex workers and prisoners) were participated in peer discussion which focuses on behavioral change and healthier sexual practice. Most of the participants had gone for VCT and knew their HIV status. 

2. A total of 21388  orphan and vulnerable children in school have got scholastic materials, Nutritional and psychosocial support  

3. 4008 people living with HIV have got seed money for income generating activities and nutritional support during the project time. A total of 3509 PLHIV were given home based care by the trained volunteer care providers.

4. Work place peer discussion concerning HIV and related issue were conducted in all ERCS HIV program implementing DRC supported branches and a total of 2480 Staffs and volunteers were participated. 

5. A total of 4000 house hold representatives (20,000 family members) were reached through  house hold focused mobilization approach ,following the discussion, a total of 25587 people and 11955 women have gone for VCT & PMTCT respectively

2.3. Ebola Preparedness – DREF operation


Following the confirmation of EVD in West Africa, it is understood that people movement is unrestricted from country to country; as a result countries have started screening of travelers and intensify Social mobilization activity to the Border areas. Thus, Ethiopia has started screening in addition to the social mobilization activity at selected places. The ERCS in accordance with the country PoA has implementing a DREF operation, which involves social mobilization activities through training of its Volunteers and key community mobilizers in 10 sub-cities of Addis Ababa, as well as the border towns of Humera (Tigray Region) and Moyelle (Oromia Region). The number of people`s to be assisted by this operation is 164,600 and the overall budget is 46,642 CHF (supported by IFRC), for five months (Oct 29, 2014 to March 29, 2015).


The overall objective of this DREF operation is to contribute the National EVD PoA where ERCS is contributing in the implementation of social mobilization activities and awareness raising activities.

Operational strtegies

1. Train volunteers in Epidemic Control for Volunteers, and Social mobilization (Target: 195 volunteers)

2. Distributions of IEC materials with key persons in at risk communities (Target: 16,000 IEC materials)

3. Community sensitization of key persons on EVD prevention using local Social organizations (Target:  12 community sensitization sessions)

4. Participate in information and coordination meetings with authorities at all level 

1. Epidemiological control and monitoring through community disease surveillance

2. Monitor & reporting activities (including a Lessons learned workshop) 

3. Train volunteers on PPE use, safe and dignified burrial and disease surveillance (Target 160-)

1. Support MOH on Poster printing and audio messages dissemination


1. In total, 204 ERCS volunteers - in Addis Ababa (141), Humera (32) and Moyale (31) have received a two-day training on ECV and Social Mobilization, which equates to 104.6% of the target (195)

1. Following the ECV training, the capacity of the volunteers has been increased in the areas of implementation since they now have improved knowledge and skills, which will help them prevent and control EVD if cases be reported in Ethiopia.  Each volunteers trained has been deployed to carry out social mobilization  and awareness raising activities for a period of 15 days  (on average).  

2. The ERCS has participated in the preparation and production of IEC materials in collaboration with the Social Mobilization Taskforce members (EHRI, MOH, ERCS, UNICEF and WHO). 

3. In total, 18,917 IEC materials (brochures) were distributed to raise awareness on EVD in Addis Ababa (10,000), Humera (5,217) and Moyale (3,700), which equates to 118.23% of the target (16,000).  

4. 86,045 people were reached - in Addis Ababa (49,000), Humera (18,545) and Moyale (18,500), which equates to 106.75% of the target (80,600). 

1. Joint monitoring of the populations in the areas of implementation has indicated that the community have been equipped with improved knowledge on the EVD following receipt of the IEC materials.  The ERCS volunteers also explained the EVD related messages contained within the IECs and provided clarification on any questions that were raised. Due to the timing of the distributions, which were carried out during the day, the majority of recipients were women, since culturally they were expected to be at home. 

2. In total, 16 community sensitizations were carried out in Addis Ababa (10), Humera (4) and Moyale (2), which equates to 133.3% of the target  (12) and was possible as volunteers were able to mobilize more people from community organizations to participate in these activities than was planned.

1. 873 people were reached through these sensitization sessions.

2. Community organizations involved in the sensitizations included: civil society organizations, local Edirs, military representatives, religious leaders, schools, women’s associations and youth groups.

1. During the community sensitizations, participants were able to improve  their knowledge of EVD, and increase their understanding by raising any questions that needed clarification. 

2. In addition, they then disseminated EVD preparedness messages through informal structures in their own communities.  It is estimated that 59,447 were then reached through informal structures in Addis Ababa (47,760), Humera (5,234) and Moyale (10,500), which equates to 75.58 per cent of the target (84,000) and was partly due to not being able to get reliable information from the community organizations. 

3. ERCS has regularly participated in high level and sub-group technical task force led by the Federal Ministry of Ethiopia/EHRI. 

4. ERCS is a member of the Task Forces for EVD preparedness, at National, Regional levels; as well as a Social Mobilization Taskforce, and recently in case management task force. The technical task force meetings have provide an opportunity to disseminate information related to EVD. 

5. ERCS volunteers were deployed to support with disease surveillance in areas of Moyale, which border Kenya . Each day, 4 volunteers were assigned to work at check points at border crossings to register suspected cases of EVD.  The ERCS put in place a tent at each of the check points. 

6. In Addis Ababa and Humera, disease surveillance was not carried out, as the local health authorities had assigned only professional health works to do this. 

7. During the DREF operation, there has been continuous follow up and monitoring of  the activities being carried out at branch level in Addis Ababa, Humera and Moyale; with support from National Headquarters (NHQ) staff.

8. Each monitoring mission lasted for seven days, and comprised two staff members from NHQ (programme and PMER).  

9. The IFRC East Africa regional representation emergency health coordinator also joined a monitoring mission, specifically in the Moyale area to assess the implementation that had been completed. 

10. Though the activities planned as per the agreed EPoA, have the most part been completed successfully, remaining gaps were identified that still need to be addressed, and such the DREF operation is being revised through this Operations Update. Based on this, additional activities are included and implemented. 

11. 168 volunteers were trained 105% of the target (160) on PPE dressing and undressing technique as well as how to conduct safe and dignified burial.

1. 10,000 posters with key EVD messages have printed and given to EHRI and distributed to health facilities.

2. ERCS has been contributed 120, 000  ETB for EVD audio messages 

3. 2 EHRI staffs and 3 ERCS staffs were trained on EVD preparedness by IFRC Nairobi office. Those trained persons are used as a core trainer to cascade a training for ERCS volunteers.

IV. Emergency apeal operation for South Sudanese refugees in Gambela


The conflict between government and opposition forces in Juba broke out on 15 December 2013 and quickly spread to other locations in South Sudan. The conflict still continues, affecting over 3.8 million people and resulting sever humanitarian crises with in the country and in the neighbouring countries. Since December 2013 more than 1.3 million people have been displaced and more than 450,000 South Sudanese had moved across borders, including approximately 200,000 into Ethiopia. 

In responding to the South Sudan population displacement, ERCS participated in one of the first inter-agency assessments in Akobo, a main entry point. A few weeks later, the ICRC also carried out an assessment mission to the region to determine how best to support tracing needs and the ERCS branch in light of the refugee crisis. These assessments resulted in an emergency response which included activities in Leitchor camp, Kule camp, two entry points and the medical facilities in Gambela town. As a result of these assessments, efforts were made by Movement partners to coordinate their interventions through the creation of an Addis-based Gambela Taskforce, and similar efforts at Gambela level to improve Movement coordination. 

In February 2014, the National Society launched an operation with the support of DREF that lasted until 30 June, but continued until August with support of the Swiss Red Cross and the ICRC. During this time, the ERCS was able to: 

1. Train 50 hygiene promoters from the refugee population in PHAST methodology. These hygiene promoters have the capacity to reach as many as 10 households per day. 

2. Enlist 50 community outreach workers responsible for health, nutrition, disease surveillance, and health promotion. They carried out their action through house to house visit and community mobilization on daily in coordination with the hygiene promoters. They also support community mobilization for mass vaccination campaigns. 

3. Mobilize 200 environmental cleaners from within the refugee population of which 190 were assigned for latrine cleaning and the other 10 were supervisors. These volunteers clean as many as 640 communal latrines per day. They were provided with proper self-protection materials (gloves, rain coat, gunboats, chlorine, broom, bucket, spoon, small basin, apron, and mask). Fifty of these environmental cleaners were recruited to monitor the cleanliness of the refugee compound and to carry out proper disinfection of all open defecation sites in the camp. 

4. With the support of the Swiss Red Cross, ERCS provided ambulance service at Kule Camp 

5. With the support of the ICRC, ERCS was able to: Provide ambulance service at Pagak and Burbiey entry points, help with emergency water supply with donation of materials used in Kule and Leitchor and water trucking to Kule (currently Tierkidi camp) from March to August, help with sanitation with construction of 200 latrines, technical assistance to borehole investigation Kule / Leitchor / Pagak, comprehensive support to Gambella Hospital, Nyannyang Health Centre, Itang Health Centre and Blood Bank, construction of 5 communal shelters at Pagak entry point equipped with basic NFI, distribution of basic hygiene items (body soap, laundry soap) at Pagak to 800HH, provision NFI, basic hygiene items (body soap, laundry soap), energy saving stoves and firewood for 1 month for 2,600 vulnerable HH at Leitchor camp, provide ongoing Restoring Family Links / Tracing services in existing camps and expanding to new camps. 

In August 2014, a joint assessment team spent one week in Gambella reviewing ongoing need for RCRC Movement support in Leitchour camp and to develop an emergency appeal. However, shortly after the UNHCR and the Government of Ethiopia announced the intention to relocate refugees to Okugu in Dimma Woreda (including due to flooding in Leitchour) causing the ERCS and IFRC to hold the launch of an appeal until some clarity surrounding the situation could be attained. In response to both the change in status of Leitchour camp and the ongoing complex needs of the refugee population, a new Movement assessment effort was initiated in mid-October, when representatives of the IFRC, ICRC, Austrian RC joined ERCS to undertake a new round of assessments.

Based on the findings of the assessment an apeal operation proposal was prepared and approved. The Operation start date is 22 December 2014 and its end date is 22 September 2015, 9 months. The Overall apeal operation budget is CHF 1,050,574, of which CHF 150,000 was allocated from the IFRC’s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) in 30 Jan, 2015 to support Ethiopian Red Cross Society (ERCS) in delivering Emergency apeal population movement health and hygiene promotion activities. This emergency response operation helps ERCS to provide hygiene promotion, and emergency health service for 34, 365 people in Leichor refugee camps and pagak entry point of Gambela, Ethiopia.

Overall objective 

The Overall objective of this emergency apeal response is to reduce the health risks of the South Sudan refugee population and host communities in Gambella through the provision of first aid, community-based health, and hygiene and sanitation promotion in Leitchour camp, Ningnang and Pagak entry point.

Progress towards outcomes:  

The following activities are performed sofar (Dec22, 2014 to Jan 22, 2015):

1. The emergency plan of action is updated and revised as necessary to reflect needs.

2. Two ambulances are deployed to supply referral service for the refugee referral patients and 12 referral cases got ambulance services for with in a month.

3. Community-based disease prevention and health promotion was provided to the population in Leitchour camp. A total of 819  Sick persons (407 Males and 412 Females) found during house to house visit were advised to go to health center for treatment. 

4. Hygiene promotion activity was done by assigned 97 trained HCOWs using house to house visit method. Total visited houses were 5270 (8,789people) in a month. 

5. A hygiene promotion message has been disseminated to 8,885 people During the Christmas holyday celebration in all churches of the refugee. In addition, 250 posters were distributed.

6. Sanitation campaigns were held in Leitchour refugee camp two times in a month. The activity was done by mobilizing and involving the community using megaphone crying massage to gather, collects and burn all solid wastes generated from their home and their compounds, uprooted grasses and bushes around the communal latrines and living houses.The total participants during the campaign were estimated 9,513 individuals.

7. Cleaning community latrines, clearing environment and covering open defecation with lime have been done as usual. The total latrines were varied from 69 in the first week of the month to 48 in the last week of the month. 

3. Restoring family Link/RFL


Historical evolution:- The beginning of Restoring Family Link service goes back to the battle of Solferino. It was pioneered by Henry Dunant at the battle of Solferino on 24th of June 1859 for the first time. A‘Young corporal Claudius Mazuet‘“some 20 yrs old, with gentle expressive features, had a bullet in the left side. There was no hope for him & of this he fully aware. When I had helped him to drink, he thanked me, & added with tears in his eyes: “Oh, sir, if u could write to my father to comfort my mother!”The parents lived …in Lyons & this young man who had joined the army as a volunteer was their only son. The only news they received of him was that which I gave them. Like many others his name appeared among the missing.’ 

Source: Henry Dunant: 1862.

The 3rd & 4th Geneva conventions of 1949 and the 1977 additional protocols are fundamental base of RFL activities run by ERCS as part of Red Cross/Crescent movement. 

Likewise, the service had begun in Ethiopia during Ethio-Somali war of 1976/77; 1968E.C. ERCS, in collaboration with the ICRC has been providing RFL service to the needy people in Ethiopia since 1976.   


To alleviate mental and psychological suffering of families who lost contact with their family members as a result of (international and non-international armed conflicts, internal disturbances, etc) and natural disasters by tracing, restoring and maintaining the family links  After 33 years of contact loss

Tools on use to establishing & maintain Contacts

1. Tracing request (TR)

TR is the tool used to trace the missed person/s all over the world though Red Cross Red Crescent Channels.

2. Establishing & Maintaining Contact

Red Cross Messages (RCM):

Used for families who have some addresses but unable to communicate as a result of means of communication channels disruptions.  In averaged, about 7,000 RCMs exchanged per year among family members in Ethiopia & the rest of the world.

3. Safe & well messages 

This tool helps to inform families of enquirer that the sender is safe and well somewhere. 100 Safe & Well messages distributed on annual base.

4. BBC tracing requests:

Help to trace the missed person by broadcasting on BBC radio in Somali language since 1990. In average 1100 BBC tracing requests aired per year.

5. Health & welfare case                                                             

It is another RFL service that helps to provide information to enquirer on behave of the subject of enquiry. 

7. “Red Cross Snapshot” It is a new tool on implementation, initiated by ERCS-ICRC in Ethiopia in December 2014. It is a mass, messaging tool use for those who have no enough information about the where about of their family member. It works in hard copy in five countries of East Africa (Ethiopia, Kenya, both Sudan and Uganda) and website used for other countries out of the above mentioned states.

8. Telephone service

It is used to establish and maintain family links. South Sudanese refugees sheltered in West Ethiopia (Gambella & Beninshangul) are the major beneficiaries of this service.     32,111 South Sudanese refugees’ family links restored & maintained between October 2011 & December 2014.     

  ERCS has  provided telephone service to Saudi-Returnees to let them inform the where abouts and  wellbeing of them-  selves during December2013 emergency    operation 14,918 local & 9,075   international calls have been provided.