Host Communities and the Humanitarian Crisis in Ethiopia/ Eastern Sudan

“They were in a tragic situation, so we stood by their side” – from an interview with a host community member

The humanitarian crisis in Tigray State, Ethiopia and Eastern Sudan – sparked by the outbreak of conflict in November 2020 – is ongoing. The influx of refugees across the border into Sudanese host communities is straining limited local resources and infrastructure.

Following on from our report in December on the experience of refugees fleeing Tigray, Sayara has deployed our research team in Gedaref and Kassala States (Eastern Sudan) to conduct in-depth interviews with host community members living in Um Rakuba and Hamdayet.

This research brief highlights findings from those interviews to better understand the situation of host communities and the impact of refugees on the communities. Host communities are experiencing a lack of basic services (including health care and availability of clean water), increased food insecurity, and economic challenges – as well as fear of the spread of diseases such as COVID-19.

Interviewees denounced the absence of government and international support for their villages to tackle the situation. Despite this, host communities are supporting and welcoming refugees, hosting the new arrivals in their own homes and sharing food with them.

Download the research brief here, which includes a summary of key findings from the study and recommendations for the Sudanese government, aid organizations, and regional and international bodies to address the situation.

To get in touch with our team regarding this research, contact us here.

If you can, please donate to one of the organizations providing much-needed assistance. The following are among those trying to help people and communities affected by the crisis:


[Photo: Abedelmohsin Abdalla]