Ethiopia Protection Cluster: COVID-19 Response: Key Protection Concerns from the National Protection Cluster

Pandemics are devastating in any context. However, the danger posed by disease outbreaks (such as COVID-19) is magnified for the 8.4 million people (including 1.7 million internally displaced persons (IDPs)) already in need of humanitarian assistance in Ethiopia.

The response to COVID-19 will not only stretch the capacity of health services, but may result in the redirection of humanitarian assistance from other critical needs, such as protection. As it is, only 10.5% of the Humanitarian Response Plan for 2020 (HRP), and 0% of the requirement for protection, are funded (as of February 2020).1 Therefore, the Protection Cluster is advocating for the continuity of essential protection services while ensuring that the inter-sectoral humanitarian response takes into account the different needs of women, girls, boys, and men, especially persons with disabilities, older persons and those who have long-term chronic illness, to be more effective and accountable to all affected populations.