Ethiopia - Tigray Region Humanitarian Update

Situation Report

Highlights

  • Less than 10 percent of the required humanitarian cargo, 2.2 percent of the necessary operational cash, and 28 percent of fuel has been able to reach Tigray since 12 July.
  • Only 25% to 50% of the normal cereal production will be available this year as agricultural planting season has been missed in many parts of Tigray.
  • Due to food-stock depletion, only 131,000 people were assisted with food between 19 and 25 August under Round 2, down from more than 547,000 people a week earlier.
  • An estimated 1.7 million people are facing food insecurity in Afar and Amhara regions due to the spillover of the Tigray conflict.
Ethiopia
The boundaries and names shown and the designations used on this map do not imply official endorsement or acceptance by the United Nations. © OCHA

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Ethiopia - Tigray Region Humanitarian Update

Situation Report

Key Figures

5.2M
People in need
5.2M
People targeted
63,110
Refugees in Sudan since 7 November

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Ethiopia - Tigray Region Humanitarian Update

Situation Report

Funding

$854M
Requirements (May - December)
$165.8M
Outstanding gap (Sep - Dec)

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Contacts

Hayat Abu Saleh

Public Information Officer

Saviano Abreu

Public Information Officer

Ethiopia - Tigray Region Humanitarian Update

Situation Report
Background

Disclaimer

OCHA Ethiopia prepares this report with the support of Cluster Coordinators. The data/information collected covers the period from 24 -30 August. In some cases, access and communication constraints mean that updates for the period are delayed. The next issue of the sitrep will be published on 9 September.

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Ethiopia - Tigray Region Humanitarian Update

Situation Report
Visual

Results from the Northern Ethiopia Response Plan (since 1 May)

Results from the Northern Ethiopia Response Plan (since 1 May)

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Ethiopia - Tigray Region Humanitarian Update

Situation Report
Background

Situation Overview

The humanitarian situation in the Tigray region is worsening dramatically due to the limited quantity and depletion of humanitarian supplies, operational fuel, and cash. While humanitarian access is now viable and secure in 75 percent of Tigray, delivery of humanitarian assistance is extremely constrained. The only access route to the region is via Afar (Semera-Abala corridor), which has not been accessible since 22 August due to bureaucratic and logistical impediments.  

To date, and since 12 July, only 335 trucks have entered the region, less than 10 percent of the 3,500 cargo trucks required for that period to meet the needs of at least 5.2 million people. Humanitarian partners estimate that 100 trucks with food, non-food items, and fuel must enter Tigray daily to sustain an adequate response. This includes at least 90 trucks or 3,600 metric tons of food commodities, equivalent to a common food basket for around 210,000 people. Non-governmental food partners have run out of stocks for common food basket within Tigray, while no humanitarian food supplies entered the region since 20 August. Consequently, only 131,000 people were assisted with food between 19 and 25 August, under the second distribution cycle, down from more than 547,000 people a week earlier out of the 5.2 million people in need of food assistance.

Commercial supply is still blocked, leading to a severe shortages of essential commodities in the private markets and a spike of prices, making it impossible for people to afford basic daily necessities. The cost of vegitable oil in the market, for instance, has reportedly increased by 5 times in late August compared to end of June, from 300 birr per liter ($6.5) to 1,500 birr ($32.5). 

Based on the latest operational analysis, about US$6.5 million, equivalent to 300 million birrs in local currency, is needed every week to sustain operations, either through a functioning banking system or Government approval to regularly transport cash supplies into the region. Since 12 July, only 47 million birr have been brought in as partners can only bring a maximum of 2 million birrs on each UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) flight, following an approval process. This is 2.2 percent of the cash required by partners to carry out programs and pay local staff salaries.  

A minimum of 200,000 liters of fuel is required for humanitarian response every week. Since 12 July, only 282,000 liters (12 trucks) have reached Tigray, and none since 16 August. This is about 28 percent of the amount needed. Clearance for the movement of fuel tankers to transit to Tigray was reportedly denied by authorities in Afar region.  Transport of ICT equipment, generators and office furniture are still prohibited.

The UNHAS passenger flight Addis Ababa-Mekelle-Addis Ababa continues to operate two flights per week as planned, with some delays during the reporting period. The flight that was supposed to fly on 24 August initially departed on 25 August, and the flight on 26 August departed on 28 August due to delayed clearance by the Government. All passengers, including senior UN officials, are going through intrusive and intensive searches at Addis Ababa airport on departure and arrival.  

On 24 August, Afar Special Police blocked a UN mission traveling from Semera to Abala to assess the road conditions and pick up staff exiting Tigray. The team was commanded to return to Semera and armed police forcefully entered the UN marked vehicles with arms to escort the team to Semera. The police officers ordered the drivers to drive significantly over speed limits while verbally abusing, harassing, and threatening them and temporarily confisacating cell phones. Consequently, Mekelle-Semera movements were cancelled by the UN until further notice, adding another constraint to staff rotation.

Anticipated poor agricultural yields are further deteriorating food security. According to the Agriculture Cluster partners and the Bureau of Agriculture, out of the 1.3 million hectares of farmland, only 320,000 hectares have been cultivated, as most  farmers only had a narrow window during the planting season. The expected harvest is estimated to be between 2.4 to 2.8 million quintals (1 quintal equals 100 kg). In comparison, typically, the harvest is about 21 million quintals or a maximum of 13 percent of the agricultural yields in normal periods. Additionally, desert locusts were reported in 19 Woredas with a high risk for hatching in Samre, Saharti (South Eastern Zone), Abergele Yechila, and Tanqua Melashe (Central Zone).  The response is limited due to lack of fuel, cash to purchase pesticides, and lack of information on hatching in neighboring regions. 

Meanwhile, the spillover of the conflict into neighboring Afar and Amhara regions continues to affect civilians with increased food insecurity, increased displacement, and disruption of livelihoods. An estimated 1.7 million people in both regions are food insecure due to the Tigray conflict.

In addition to access constraints to some areas in both regions due to the ongoing hostilities, partners face shortages of funds to secure supplies to assist additional acute food insecure people. Despite the challenges, humanitarian partners continue to scale up the response and support the regional authorities’-led response efforts in both regions. 

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Ethiopia - Tigray Region Humanitarian Update

Situation Report
Visual

Humanitarian Access in Tigray

Acess Map[90]-02

The boundaries and names shown and the designations used on this map do not imply official endorsement or acceptance by the United Nations. © OCHA

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Ethiopia - Tigray Region Humanitarian Update

Situation Report
Emergency Response

Humanitarian Preparedness and Response

Humanitarian partners maintain their commitment to stay and deliver to meet current and emerging needs. As of 26 August, there are 491 UN staff (10 UN agencies) supporting the humanitarian response (101 international staff and 250 national staff in Mekelle and 15 international staff and 125  national staff in Shire). Similarly, non-governmental organization (NGO) partners continue to maintain a presence in Tigray, with 36 NGOs (29 INGOs and 7 NNGOs) currently responding to the needs on the ground, with at least 1560 staff working with INGOs.

Despite the depletion of food stocks, food partners continued to distribute the previously dispatched food and the available supplies. Between 19 and 25 August, food partners have assisted only 131,074 people, under second food distribution, down from more than 547,000 people a week earlier. Partners reached more than 443,000 people were reached with water trucking across the region compared to about 368,000 people a week earlier.

Nutrition partners screened more than 70,000 children under 5 years and more than 20,000 pregnant and lactating women (PLW) for malnutrition. Between 24 and 30 August, more than 18,500 PLW received Infant and Young Child feeding counselling while more than 3,600 pregnant women received Iron and Folic Acid supplements. 

To date, and since the start of the year, more than 695,000 people, 26 percent of the total 2.7 million people targeted, were reached with emergency shelter and non-food items. With completed, ongoing, and planned distributions, about 1.18 million people, 42 per cent of the targeted population, will be reached by the end of the year. 

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Ethiopia - Tigray Region Humanitarian Update

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Cluster Status

Agriculture

Needs

  • Provision of seeds to farmers as local sorghum and vegetable seeds and Mung Bean can be planted end of August due to the continued rain season.

Response

  • No updates since last reporting period.

Gaps

  • Lack of fuel and cash is hindering the transportation of agricultural inputs.

  • Lack of refrigerator at woreda level to keep vaccines and drugs.

  • Lack of chemicals to combat fall army worm affecting maize and sorghum crops. 

  • Small desert locust swarm was detected in 14 Woredas.

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Ethiopia - Tigray Region Humanitarian Update

Situation Report

Cluster Status

Camp Coordination and Camp Management

Needs

  • Food, non-food items, cooking energy, milling support, drinking water and dignity kits at IDPs sites.

  • Safe and dignified relocations of IDPs from schools used as collective sites to the planned sites and other alternative shelters with full consultation with the displaced community. 

  • Privacy at the collective sites and specific support to the people with disabilities.

  • Lack of scholastic materials for the displaced children at the IDPs sites.

  • Services to 4,825 new IDPs that arrived in Shire from Western Zone. 

Response

  • Completion of eight communal kitchens at IDPs sites of Shire. 

  • Road improvements in various IDPs sites in Shire. 

  • Forty-seven IDPs committee members, including 18 women, were trained on the Code of Conduct in Adi Daero and Adi Nebrid IDPs sites.

Gaps

  • Lack of cash and fuel impacting the implementation of site coordination, and improvement and repairs activities at IDPs sites, and the movement of partners to respond in remote collective sites. 

  • Lack of internet, communications and electric power are delaying timely reporting from the field, including reporting on new IDPs. 

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Cluster Status

Education

Needs

  • Relocation of IDPs from schools. 

  • Renovation of schools damaged or looted during the conflict and clearing them from explosives in preparation of return of students to schools. 

  • Scholastic materials and high energy biscuit in support to students. 

  • Psychosocial support training for teachers and students. 

  • Food ration for school staff until salaries are paid.

  • High energy biscuit for school feeding. 

Response

  • Some 957 students in Shire and Mekelle IDPs sites finished different learning programs. 

  • Some17,000 exercise books provided to the Regional Education Bureau by UNICEF to support back to school. 

  • Some 600 children received books in Adigrat, Adwa and Axum.

  • Operation Rescue Ethiopia is conducting placement test for its 375   ALP program participating children at Hintalo woreda at its 15 centers. The placement text is given by the woreda education office and the result will be disclosed soon.

  • Some 5,212 children  were reached with different lerning programsn in Enderta, Wejerat, Hintalo, Samre, Seharti and Deguea Tembien Woredas and 240 chirldren in Raya Azebo.

Gaps

  • Delay in preparation for reopening schools as IDPs are still sheltering there. 

  • Lack of cash to pay for teachers’ salaries. 

  • Lack of cash to implement education programs. 

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Cluster Status

Emergency Shelter & Non-Food Items

Needs

  • Relocation of IDPs form schools as the local authorities plans to reopen schools on 20 September. There are 120 collective centers of which the majority are in schools. 

  • Improvement to the blocks planned to accommodate IDPs from schools in Mekelle. 

  • Supporting IDPs within the host community. 

  • ES/NFIs response to new IDPs in Adigrat.

Response

  • To date, and since the start of the year, some 695,635 people–26 percent of the total 2.7 million people targeted were reached with emergency shelter and non-food items, up from 671,000 by last reporting period. With completed, ongoing, and planned distributions, about 1.18 million people, 42 per cent of the targeted population, will be reached by the end of the year. 

  • During the reporting period, more than 22,000 IDPs in Sheraro, Shire, Endabaguna, and Tahtay Koraro (North Western Zone), Ahferom, Naedir and Rama (Central Zone) received emergency assistance.

Gaps

  • Lack of supplies and market disruption due to access constraints to the region. 

  • Low funding amidst the huge number of IDPs and possible returns.

  • Rainfall amidst the already substandard living conditions of the IDPs. 

  • Lack of fuel, electricity, communication, cash and bank services are hindering the response including repairs of damaged shelters due to the heavy rain.

  • Lack of information on the number of IDPs who returned to their place of origin or to host communities.

  • Lack of shelter construction materials in the local market.

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Ethiopia - Tigray Region Humanitarian Update

Situation Report

Cluster Status

Food

Needs

  • According to the latest food security analysis, over 400,000 people in Tigray region are suffering from catastrophic levels of hunger (IPC 5) through the lean season; and across the region, more than 4 million people - 70 percent of the population – are experiencing high levels of acute food insecurity (IPC 3 or above). 

  • Based on qualitative information from the field the number of food insecure people continues to increase. 

  • Timely and sustained food assistance is urgently needed to avert any risk of famine. 

  • It is expected that only 25% to 50% of the normal cereal production will be available this year as agricultural planting season has been missed in many parts of Tigray. Also, there are no available food stocks as many people were prevented from planting since last November. As a result, food assistance will be required up to the next year’s harvest season in October 2022. 

  • At least 5.2 million people are targeted for emergency food assistance in Tigray. 

Response

  • Since the launch of the first round of assistance under Northern Ethiopia Humanitarian Response Plan 2021 in late March, and as of 25 August, the three main food partners have assisted 5,685,993 people with 96,039 MT of food across Mekelle town, Eastern, Western, Central, North Western, Southern and South-Eastern Zones under Round 1. 

  • For Round 2 distribution launched in mid-May, some 3,132,936 people have been assisted with 53,103 MT of food in Central, Southern, North-Western, Eastern, and South-Eastern Zones as of 25 August. 

  • During the reporting period (19-25 August), food partners have distributed 1,868 MT of food to 110,187 people under Round 1; and 2,223 MT of food to 131,074 under round 2, down from 9,276 MT of food to 547,329 people a week earlier.

  • The National Disaster Risk Management Commission (NDRMC) has allocated 10,839 MT of food for Round 1. As of 23 June, it has distributed 1,664 MT of food to 110,923 people in Ofla, Zata, and Raya Alamata Woredas, Southern Zone and 927 MT of food to 61,771 people in Maykadra, Humera, and Dansha Woredas, Western Zone. The Government of Ethiopia’s Round 2 distribution in Western Zone has been on hold due to the fluid security situation. 

  • The Joint Emergency Operation Program (JEOP) is completing its Round 1 distribution with 71,331 MT (94%) of the allocated food distributed, assisting 4,208,297 people as of 25 August. JEOP partners have also launched its Round 2 distribution, assisting 1,480,686 people with 25,098 MT (37%) of food in Central, Eastern, Southern and South Eastern Zones. 

  • WFP and its partners have completed their Round 2 distribution with 28,005 MT of food distributed to 1,652,250 people in Southern and North-Western Zones as of 25 August. WFP is gearing up its preparation for Round 3 distribution which was supposed to start in early August but has been significantly delayed due to operational challenges. From Round 3 onwards, WFP will take over the distribution in Shire town and Tahtay Koraro Woreda in North-Western Zone from JEOP. 

  • Partners have been dispatching food and conducting distribution in prioritized Woredas, especially targeting the areas that used to be hard to reach due to access/security and those that will be difficult to access during the rainy season which has already started in some locations. It has been a very difficult prioritization exercise for all food partners as the stock requirements for all the hotspot locations is way higher than the amount of food commodities available in Tigray.

  • To improve quality of assistance, partners are deploying teams to food distribution points and the affected communities to conduct process monitoring and post-distribution surveys with beneficiaries. 

Gaps

  • The launch of Round 3 distribution has been revised to early August instead of early July as originally planned. However, no partner has been able to start the distribution yet due to lack or no stocks and operational challenges.

  • At least 3,600 MT of food commodities or 90 trucks, equivalent to common food basket for around 210,000 people, are required to move into Tigray every day in order to sustain the food assistance for at least 5.2 million people and to avert the risk of famine.

  • Between 15 and 19 August, only 32 trucks with humanitarian food commodities (1,280 MT) have entered Tigray. Since 20 August, no partner has been able to bring in any food commodity as of 30 August.

  • Since 20 August, non-governmental food partners have run out of stock for common food basket within Tigray. Some partners are forced to cease distribution, with exception in some areas where food stock previously dispatched.

  • The continuous delays in humanitarian cargo movement due to insecurity, extended delays in clearances and thorough searches to convoys in the Semera-Abala corridor is significantly hampering food response.

  • In addition, the longer the food commodities are kept in Semera, the higher risk they will be infested due to the hot weather. 

  • The safety and security of cargo drivers in the corridor is also a serious concern and requires urgent measures to ensure that transporters have the confidence to continue cargo movements. 

  • Lack of fuel and cash and non-functional communication network in Tigray as well as irregular supply line into the region are significantly hindering the resumption of food response. 

  • Several partners are currently operating in debt. If the issue of access to cash is not urgently resolved, partners may be soon forced to temporarily cease operation. 

  • The flexibility for timely inclusion of verified vulnerable new caseloads in food assistance without quota limitation is urgently needed. Efforts to reach out to the areas that are previously inaccessible by food partners and conduct food distribution closer to the target communities is critical. 

  • Lack of cooking energy and milling support remains a concern hindering food utilization. Partners are looking into the possibility of including transportation and food preparation associated costs in the food assistance package in prioritized locations. 

  • Partners remain unable to dispatch food stock to the areas across the Tekeze River, including May Tsebri town, Tselemeti and Dimma Woredas due to physical access challenges and security concerns. The Western Zone and extreme northern parts of Tigray along the Eritrean border continue to be inaccessible due to fluid security context. 

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Ethiopia - Tigray Region Humanitarian Update

Situation Report

Cluster Status

Health

Needs

  • Essential medical equipment, supplies and medicines are required. 

  • Post exposure prophylaxis for Rabies is needed. 

Response

  • No updates since last reporting period.

Gaps

  • Lack of access of supplies to the region.

  • Lack of telecommunications and cash.

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Ethiopia - Tigray Region Humanitarian Update

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Cluster Status

Logistics

Needs

  • Improved access and security to transport the required humanitarian supplies into the region.

  • Additional access routes to bring humanitarian supplies into the region are required. 

Response

  • Between 16 and 20 August, 11 trucks departed from Mekelle to other parts in Tigray, with 240 MT of health items, dignity kits, shelter and NFIs on behalf of three partners.

Gaps

  • Only one road, via Afar, is currently partially accessible for the transport of humanitarian supplies. No trucks movement between Semera and Mekele during the reporting period.

  • Lack of fuel to carry out operations.

  • Lack of telecommunications is hindering communications with partners and with the field.

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Situation Report

Cluster Status

Nutrition

Needs

  • An estimated 1.4 million children under the age of 5 and pregnant and lactating women (PLW) need preventative intervention such as Vitamin A supplementation and malnutrition treatment.

  • The arrival of 606 MT of Ready to Use Formula (RUSF) and 344 MT of super cereal plus (CSB++) from Semera. Meanwhile, there is a deficit of 27MT of CSB++ to cover current needs.

Response

  • Some 70,276 children under 5 years were screened for malnutrition in which 1,066 of them, or 1.5 percent, were diagnosed with severe acute malnutrition (SAM) and 10,077, or 14 percent, with moderate acute malnutrition (MAM). They were referred for treatment. 

  • Some 20,608 PLW were screened for malnutrition of whom 4,840, or about 24 percent were diagnosed malnourished.

  • Since February, 16,588 children with SAM cases, or about 71 percent, out of the 23,444 targeted were treated. 

  • Since February, 109,179 children and PLW reached with Targeted Supplementary Feeding.

  • Since February, 405,518 children and mothers were reached with Blanket Supplementary Feeding.

  • Between 24 and 30 August, 18,534 PLW received Infant and Young Child feeding counselling. 

  • Some 3,641 pregnant women received Iron and Folic Acid supplements. 

  • Some 1,762 children between 2 and 5 years received deworming tablets.

Gaps

  • A consignment of nutrition supplies is on hold in Semera, pending government clearance. 

  • Deficit of 27MT of CSB++ to cover current needs.

  • Lack of stocks and nutrition supplies due to restricted access to the region.  

  • Lack of fuel and access to cash and banking services to carry out nutrition programs and services.

  • Communications blackout hindering reporting and assessments. 

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Ethiopia - Tigray Region Humanitarian Update

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Cluster Status

Protection

Needs

  • Food, firewood and cooking energy, water and NFIs remain the main needs among IDPs leading to negative coping mechanisms, including children begging, child labor and survival sex.

  • Accurate and timely information to displaced people about relocation and return. 

  • A shift in programming from schools used as IDPs sites to relocation areas, including preparing teachers and students to return. 

  • Increase the clinical management of rape cases with significant improvement to health facilities for gender- based cases. 

  • Critical services to the new IDPs arrivals from Western Tigray to Sheraro, Axum and Adigrat.

  • Services to IDPs at two sites in May Tsebri in North-Western Zone.  

  • Support the Bureau of Labor and Social.

Response

  • Walking aids distributed by in Abi Adi and Axum to persons with special needs. 

  • Thirty-two staff from humanitarian organizations received training on gender-based violence in emergency.

Gaps

  • Lack of fuel for transportation of stocks, to conduct outreach missions to harder to reach areas.

  • Lack of supplies including help aid to the people with disabilities. 

  • Capacity gap in areas such as Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA) and Accountability to Affected Population (AAP), protection mainstreaming, and case management. 

  • Lack of Explosive Ordnance Risk Education materials and trainings for partners and IDPs communities in Abi Adi, Adigrat, Adwa, Axum and Sheraro. 

  • Significant number of national staff working with several protection International NGOs reported to be resigning due to delays with salary payment.

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Cluster Status

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)

Needs

  • Completion of WASH facilities at “Sabacare-4” IDPs relocation site in Mekelle by September. 

  • Completion of WASH facilities in other relocation sites across the region.

  • Rehabilitation of sanitation facilities at schools used to shelter IDPs after their relocation. 

  • WASH NFIs for IDPs sites and host communities. 

  • Electromechanical equipment for urban water supply.

Response

  • WASH response covered 30 Woredas in Mekelle, Central, Eastern, South-Eastern and Southern Zones during the reporting period, down from 46 Woredas a week earlier. 

  • About 30,037 m³ of water was distributed in Mekelle, Central, South-Eastern, North-Western, and Eastern Zones reaching 443,121 people.

  • Rehabilitations of 90 water points (hand pumps) and 5 motorized systems reaching 57,873 people in South-Eastern, Southern and Eastern Zones compared to 108 points reaching 33,381 a week earlier.

  • Ongoing constructions of latrines and bathing units at collective IDP sites across the region. 

  • Some 57,873 people reached with hygiene promotion and WASH NFIs at IDPs sites and host community down from 133,316 people a week earlier.

Gaps

  • Lack of fuel and cash is significantly hindering WASH interventions.

  • Completion of wash facilities constructions.

  • Most of contractors work for latrines and showers construction at “Sabacare-4” IDPs relocation site in Mekelle stopped due to lack of cash.

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Situation Report
Coordination

Coordination

Coordination platforms continue to function. The Inter-Cluster Coordination Groups (ICCG) in Mekelle and Shire are holding regular meetings. Coordination meetings between partners and the local authorities have been initiated in the main hubs in Mekelle, Shire, Adigrat, and Abi Adi. Given the scale of the crisis and the need for rapid scale-up of assistance, clusters urgently require dedicated full-time coordinators and information management officers. With the improved access within the region, there is need for more strengthened and permanent presence of partners in the deep field hubs  The local authorities have maintained the Emergency Coordination Center (ECC) in Mekelle as the main Government led coordination forum. The ECC meets once a week and provides a platform for interaction between Government bureaus and humanitarian partners. 

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Emergency Response

Funding Update

The Northern Ethiopia Response Plan currently appeals for US$854 million for May-December but it will be updated to meet the growing requirements as the conflict expands to Afar and Amhara regions, needs outpace the response, and operational challenges raise costs. The revised Plan is expected to be finalized in the second half of September. In the meanwhile, there is a funding gap of $165.8 million for the Plan. This reflects agency internal re-allocations and re-alignments as well new funding received. Information on how much funding is available for the response is updated continuously and can fluctuate based on new pledges and confirmed contributions by donors.

On 18 August, the Ethiopia Humanitarian Fund (EHF) launched the 2021 second reserve allocation of $20 million. The allocation will target immediate and life-saving activities in emergency shelter, camp coordination and management, health, nutrition, protection, and water, sanitation and hygiene sectors in Tigray, Amhara and Afar. Some 55 proposals have been submitted for consideration totaling $26.8 million, indicating the increased needs. Urgent funding to the EHF is required to continue supporting partners’ response as the current fund balance stands at only $2.5 million. 

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