Ethiopia - Tigray Region Humanitarian Update

Situation Report

Highlights

  • The security situation in Tigray Region remains dire with reports of sporadic fighting and population movement in search of safety, particularly in rural areas.
  • In addition to hampered physical access into many parts of Tigray, mobile network and access to internet remain cut-off except in some areas in the south and west of the region.
  • The humanitarian situation is severe as people have now lived through nearly two and half months of conflict without adequate access to food, water and health services.
  • Deeply dependent on imports of goods, Tigray has been cut-off from trading since November. This, coupled with the impact of insecurity on the harvest, left many at risk of hunger.
  • Despite the challenging security environment and bureaucratic obstacles, humamitarians continue to deliver limited assistance in areas where access has been granted by authorities.
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

950,000
People in need of aid before the conflict
1.3M
Projected additional people to need aid
58,334
Refugess in Sudan since 7 November
$40.3M
Unmet requirements for the Response Plan

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Ethiopia - Tigray Region Humanitarian Update

Situation Report

Funding

$1.3B
Required
$704.9M
Received
56%
Progress
FTS

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Contacts

Saviano Abreu

Communications Team Leader, Regional Office for Southern & Eastern Africa

Alexandra de Sousa

Deputy Head of Office, OCHA Ethiopia

Ethiopia - Tigray Region Humanitarian Update

Situation Report
Background
Refugee camps in Tigray

SITUATION OVERVIEW

The security situation in Tigray Region remains dire, with reports of sporadic fighting and population movement in search of safety, particularly in rural areas. There are reports of civilian casualties, including six aid workers. While access from Mai-tsebri to Shire is now possible, ongoing hostilities dictate that humanitarian partners put in place extreme safety and security measures ahead of any field missions.

In addition to hampered physical access into many parts of Tigray, mobile network communications and access to internet remain cut-off, except in some areas in southern and western parts of the region. Access to areas in Afar and Amhara regions where internally displaced people from Tigray have settled is also increasingly challenging due to military activities in the areas.

The access constraints continue to challenge the speedy scale-up of humanitarian assistance and prevent the population from accessing the necessary life-saving information and support.

Overall, the humanitarian situation of the population is dire after nearly two and half months of fighting. With supply routes cut-off and the harvest season impacted by the conflict, reports indicate that food is not available or is extremely limited in markets, posing increased risks of malnutrition. Pre-crisis malnutrition in Tigray was already on the rise due to COVID-19 and desert locust infestation, with a 34 per cent increase registered in admissions of severely malnourished children between January and August 2020, compared to the same time in 2019.

Access to repair water and sanitation systems, as well as provision of fuel and spare parts are needed to ensure the restoration of services and prevent the spread of water-borne diseases and epidemics, including COVID-19. In addition to food, water, sanitation and hygiene, protection, health (including pshychosocial support), safety and security remain some of the priority concerns, as well as access to public services.

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Ethiopia - Tigray Region Humanitarian Update

Situation Report
Analysis
Ethiopian refugees in Sudan
Ethiopian refugees, fleeing clashes in Tigray region, cross the border into Hamdayet, Sudan, over the Tekeze river. Photo: © UNHCR/Hazim Elhag

CROSS-BORDER IMPACT

Between 7 November and 14 January, the Sudanese Government Commissioner for Refugees (CoR) and UNHCR registered 58,334 refugees fleeing the armed conflict in Tigray Region. Given that Um Raquba, where refugees from  Hamdayet, Abdrafi, and Village 8 have been relocated, has reached full capacity, an additional camp has been opened in Tunaydbah area of Gedaref state. This new camp has the capacity to accommodate 24,000 refugees, according to UNHCR.

The Sudanese Government and humanitarian partners continue to scale up life-saving assistance to the refugees, including hot meals to the new arrivals. Health and WASH services as well as dry food rations are also being offered to the refugees, with priority given to persons with specific needs. Safe space to raise protection concerns, and referral systems to identified protection issues have also been established.

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Ethiopia - Tigray Region Humanitarian Update

Situation Report
Visual

People Targeted

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Ethiopia - Tigray Region Humanitarian Update

Situation Report
Emergency Response

HUMANITARIAN PREPAREDNESS AND RESPONSE

Despite the challenging security environment, humanitarians continue to deliver limited assistance with available resources and in the limited areas where access is relatively permissive. Accordingly, the Government of Ethiopia, through the National Disaster Risk Management Commission (NDRMC), has distributed 8,011 MT of mixed food items since the beginning of the conflict in Tigray, benefitting some 500,000 people. JEOP started distributing food for 80,000 beneficiaries identified by the Tigray Regional State Interim Administration (IA) in late December.  As of 11 January, it has distributed a double ration to 60,000 beneficiares, which is approximately 75 per cent of the total approved caseload in Mekelle. This distribution is being implemented by JEOP partner REST (local NGO).

Several nutrition partners had prepositioned medicines, nutrition supplies and equipment for the management of severe and moderate acute malnutrition. While most of the TSFP activities were put on hold as a result of the escalating conflict in November, Enderta and Raya Azebo Woredas distributed specialized nutritious foods in December 2020 for the treatment of moderate acute malnutrition among children under age 5 and pregnant and breastfeeding mothers.WFP nutrition coordinators are in the process of collecting data, including number of assisted people. Discussions are ongoing between WFP and stakeholders on the possible introduction of a Blanket Supplementary Feeding Programme targeting children under age 5 and  pregnant and breastfeeding mothers in selected Woredas in Tigray to prevent the deterioration in the nutritional status of the population. A phased approach will be implemented based on accessibility and the prevailing security situation.

During the Tigray Emergency Coordination Center (ECC) meeting convened on 8 January in Mekelle, participants highlighted humanitarian needs and ongoing responses across sectors. Health services have stopped or are limited in many parts of the region due to abandoned or looted health facilities. According to a rapid assessment conducted by the Regional Health Bureau, some 657 health workers fled violence in different zones in the region and are currently taking refuge in Mekelle. Several people require psychosocial support due to the trauma experienced, however, only Ayder Hospital in Mekelle is providing services. With the support of ICRC and MSF, some medications have been dispatched to Axum, Adwa (Don Bosco Hospital), Shire and Adigrate hospitals. Liquid and solid waste management has become a serious concern, and the meeting agreed to seek a focal person from the municipalities and address the issue.

The Protection Cluster informed that registration of vulnerable people is ongoing in Mekelle. While five sub-cities in Mekelle have provided a list, two sub-cities are yet to do so. The INGO World Vision and ICRC have distributed core relief items to displaced people sheltered in different schools in Mekelle, but were only able to address 1 per cent of the need.

The Child Protection and Gender-Based Violence sub-Cluster was reactivated in Tigray. During the meeting held by members of the sub-Cluster on 6 January, it was highlighted that the reactivation will ensure the protection of children and women affected by the conflict, and will enable a coordinated delivery of response. 

Meanwhile, an international surge capacity arrived in-country and is ready to deploy to Tigray to support the scale up of the response. On 12 January, OCHA, on behalf of the humanitarian community, has submitted a consolidated request to NDRMC for the urgent movement of the international aid workers to Tigray, and is awaiting clearance.  Separately, the Logistic Cluster is coordinating the requests for the movement of humanitarian supplies into Tigray. A number of requests for cargo movement to Shire, Mai-tsebri and Mekelle were approved by NDRMC on 13 January.

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Ethiopia - Tigray Region Humanitarian Update

Situation Report
Emergency Response

RESPONSE BY CLUSTER

FOOD SECURITY

  • The Government of Ethiopia, through, NDRMC, has distributed 8,011 MT of mixed food items since the beginning of the conflict in Tigray, benefitting some 500,000 people. This includes 2,410 MT of food items distributed since December 2020, targeting 160,683 beneficiaries in Adigrat, Wukro, Ferewoini, Mehoni, Raya, Queha, Axum, Adi-gudom, Abi-Adi, and Tanaqua abergele Woredas.

  • JEOP started distributing food for 80,000 beneficiaries identified by the Tigray Regional State Interim Administration (IA) in late December. As of 11 January, it has distributed a double ration to 49,469 beneficiares, which is approximately 62 per cent of the total approved caseload in Mekelle. This distribution is being implemented by JEOP partner REST (local NGO).

  • Food dispatch/distributions have not yet started in the 12 JEOP-covered woredas, which were targeted for round 6 and round 7 of the 2020 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP). Insecurity and delays in receiving master beneficiary lists are the main impediments to response.

  • WFP supported the Government’s effort to provide food assistance to IDPs by allocating 23 MT of CSB+, benefitting 5,000 IDPs in Mekelle.

  • Some 25,000 refugees in Adi Harush and Mai Ayni camps received food assistance as of end December. This includes 18 WFP trucks that delivered 250MT of corn soya blend, grains, pulses and vegetable oil to local humanitarian partners for distribution to 13,000 refugees in Mai Ayni camp; and additional 240MT of food delivered to Adi Harush refugee camp to benefit 12,170 refugees. Ethiopia’s Agency for Refugees and Returnee Affairs (ARRA), WFP and UNHCR jointly monitored the delivery and distribution of the one month worth supplies. The refugees had received two months’ worth of relief food in mid-October.

  • In Mehoni, the local community provided 200 kgs of wheat flour for Government workers in the energy, water, and health sectors as well as made blanket food distribution for the community in the area. In 15 Kebeles of Alamata, some 3000 people in each Kebele received 15kgs of wheat flour from the Government. The Government and Catholic Relief Services (CRS) distributed two rounds of targeted food distributions in Dansha, Humera and May Kadra for a total combined quantity of 1,097,37MT.

AGRICULTURE

  • The Cluster is providing animal feed to 6,416 households in the host communities in Dalifage, Dewe and Mile in Zones 1 and 5, Afar Region; and animal health support (5,638 households) and agricultural tools (2,400 houesholds) in Asayita, Chifra, Dubti and Mile in Zone 1.

  • In addition, unconditional cash transfer was made to 3,725 households in the host community in Berhale and Dalol in Zone 2 (Afar).

  • All activities will be completed by 31 January 2021.

EMERGENCY SHELTER AND NON-FOOD ITEMS

  • NDRMC has distributed partial NFI kits to some 2,456 IDP households in Mai Tsebri, Dansha, Humera, Mai Kadra, Adi Arkai, Tselemt, Beyda, Janamora, Dabat and Debark; and partial kits were dispatched from NDRMC warehouse for 3,343 households.

  • The Ethiopian Red Cross distributed NFI kits to 400 households in Mekelle (Tigray), while ICRC distributed NFI kits to 250 IDP households in Mai Kadra as well as 560 IDP households in Abdurafi (Amhara). IRC is currently distributing full ES/NFI and dignity kits to 1,400 households in Adi Arekay (Tigray). In addition, IOM is currently distributing NFI kits to 479 IDP households in Central Gonder and Gonder Town (Amhara), while CARE is distributing NFI kits to 900 IDP households in Debarke and Mai Tsebri (Amhara) and dignity kits to 1000 IDP households in Debarke, Gonder Town (Amhara) and Maitsebri (Tigray). World Vision International (WVI) provided ES/NFI kits to 300 households in Debark and Chercher (Amhara). Additional kits are currently being distributed by NRC to 3,000 households in Yallo, Megale and Aba’ala (Afar).

  • To date, Catholic Relief Services (CRS) provided NFI kits for 200 IDP households in Dansha and an additional 200 IDPs in Baeker, and plans to provide NFIs for 2400 households in Humera, May Kadra and Tselemet IDP camps. CRS also supported 302 IDPs in Central Gonder and Gonder Town (Amhara) with shelter construction, while IOM constructed 13 communal shelters for IDPs in Gonder and Dabat Towns.

  • Additional ES/NFI kits are prepositioned and ready for distribution once security allows. CRS, Concern Worldwide, GOAL, WVI, SCI, NRC, IOM, RRF and IRC are planning to reach 46,400 households through ES/NFI kits and cash interventions.

HEALTH

  • Three first-line responders - ICRC (in Mekelle), MSF-E (in South Tigray), MSF-H (in West Tigray) and WHO (in Mekelle) - amongst others are supporting trauma care and essential health services.

  • Meanwhile, some of the 15 second-line responders (AAH, CRS, IMO, GOAL, ICRC, IMC, MSF-H, MSF-E, MCMDO, PIE, UNFPA, UNICEF, WVI, WHO) have started responding where possible and others are on standby to start/scale-up response where security allows. Wold Vision has mobilized around US$1.5 million in funding and $40,000 worth of medication and other health supplies ready for distribution in Alamata Hospital and two health centers. Some 1,500 dignity kits will be distributed in Chercher, Gonder, Raya Azebo districts. Save the Children has secured $500,000 to deploy mobile health teams in central and easter Tigray.

  • The federal Ministry of Health has dispatched six Mobile Health Teams to Mekelle, while WHO has dispatched emergency health supplies to Tigray able to treat more than 10,000 patients for three months.

  • Between 14 and 21 December, WHO delivered health supplies for trauma and other emergencies through health partners, including MSF-S (supplies to treat 38,000 patients for 3 months and provide 400 trauma treatments to be delivered to health facilites in southern Tigray and the outskirts of Mekelle); EPHI/MoH (supplies to treat 7,000 patients for 3 months and trauma supplies for 300 treatments to be delivered to health facilities in and around Mekelle); and through Save the Children (supplies to treat 38,000 patients for 3 months and treat 300 trauma cases). WHO has also prepositioned supplies for the Tigray Regional Health Bureau.

  • UNICEF supplied emergency drug kits through ERCS, IRC and MSF-H. UNICEF dispatched additional health kits and PPEs to Mekelle, and has established partnership with IRC to deliver health services in West Tigray. A similar partnership with IMC for East Tigray and Afar is in progress.

  • IRC was able to access IDP sites in Shire where they distributed 1,2000 COVID-19 prevention and hygiene promotion leaflets, provided health education, conducted a sanitation campaign and distributed PPE material. Additional COVID-19 specific responses are planned by Action Against Hunger. Meanwhile, Plan International is responding through Mobile Health and Nutrition Teams in Amhara and Afar.

  • In Mekelle, 90 per cent of health workers have returned to work. They had abandoned their posts due to insecurity and non-payment of salaries as well as lack of essential supplies and budget to treat patients. The majority of health staff in Adigrat, Axum, Dansha and Humera, however, are residing in Mekelle and are unable to return to their homes and work because of persisting insecurity.

NUTRITION

  • In Tigray, a rapid health and nutrition assessment team from Concern Worldwide (CWW) had reached Mai Tsebri on 28 December, and proceeded to Mai Ayni and Adi Harush refugee camps on 29 December. The team also took a donation of CMAM supplies from UNICEF to the Agency for Refugee and Returnee Affairs (ARRA) and UNHCR. The INGO CWW has conducted nutrition screening in both camps. Nutrition services have now resumed in the two camps.

  • In addition, therapeutic milk (F75 and F100) was donated to Mai Tsebri Hospital serving both refugees and host communities to facilitate the treatment of severely malnourished people with medical complications. MCMDO and IMC are set to implement a mobile health and nutrition (MHNT) intervention in selected woredas of Tigray once the access approval process is finalized.

  • Similarly, UNICEF, AAH, CWW, GOAL, IRC and Save the Children are starting emergency nutrition response (notably through MHNT) in various areas of Tigray. UNICEF prepositioned emergency supplies to Mekelle, including nutrition supplies for the management of severe acute malnutrition at the interim Regional Health Bureau (RHB). There is an ongoing discussion to support the RHB’s distribution plan. The supplies will first be distributed across 12 functional hospitals in cities across the region. From these hospitals, some supplies will be dispatched to accessible lower level health service delivery points. These supplies include notably 4,577 boxes of RUTF, 192 cartons of F-75, 192 cartons of F-100, 176 packs of Vitamin A supplements as well as 5,797 boxes of High Energy Biscuits. In addition, UNICEF shipped 3,200 cartons of RUTF for the Shire area. WFP pre-positioned 973 MT of specialized nutritious foods commodities (272.732 MT of RUSF and 700.37 MT of Super Cereal Plus) for the treatment of Moderate Acute Malnutrition among children under-5 and pregnant and breastfeeding mothers.

  • WFP has an equivalent of 2 months of specialized nutritious foods (SNF) for the Targeted Supplementary Feeding program (TSFP, MAM management) that used to be ongoing in 18 selected Woredas, including trucks on standby to transport from Mekelle to FDC/health facilities. While most of the TSFP activities were put on hold as a result of the escalating conflict in November, Enderta and Raya Azebo Woredas had distributions of SNFs in December 2020. The TSFP coordinators are in the process of collecting, data including number of assisted people. Discussions are ongoing between WFP and stakeholders on the possible introduction of a Blanket Supplementary Feeding Programme targeting children under-5 and pregnant and breastfeeding mothers in selected Woredas in Tigray to prevent the deterioration in the nutritional status of the population. A phased approach will be implemented based on accessibility and the prevailing security situation. The Regional Emergency Nutrition Coordination Unit (ENCU) has deployed staff to support the Regional ECC, while UNICEF is deploying additional capacity to strengthen nutrition coordination.

  • In Amhara Region, Plan International is starting an emergency nutrition response (full CMAM-E and IYCF) integrated with WASH NFI provision, hygiene promotion and COVID-19 prevention messaging in areas bordering Tigray (Tselemit and Adi Arekay Woredas). The INGO CWW conducted a rapid needs assessment in Adi Arakay and Debark Woredas in North Gonder Zone (Amhara). Results will be shared in due course.

  • Similarly in Afar Region, Plan International is starting an emergency nutrition response (full CMAM-E and IYCF) integrated with WASH NFI provision, hygiene promotion and COVID-19 prevention messaging in Aba`Ala, Berhale, Koneba and Megale Woredas. Save the Children will also scale up its nutrition response in Dalol, bordering Tigray, while UNICEF, through its Emergency Nutrition Officers, will strengthen support to nutrition services delivery, including MUAC screening activities.

LOGISTICS

  • The Logistics Cluster has facilitated access to dedicated fleets to support the humanitarian community. There are currently dedicated trucks stationed in Gonder and Kombolcha for the immediate transport of cargo into Tigray as access permits. Additional dedicated capacity can be made to partners upon request.

  • As of 1 January, the Cluster has facilitated the transport and storage of 40 MT of cargo on behalf of partners to Gonder to be delivered to Shire. On Friday 1 January, the first Logistics Cluster convoy carrying 35 MT of cargo on behalf of 5 partners arrived in Mekelle.

  • The Cluster has made available a 2400m² storage capacity for partners to position their stocks in Gonder. In Semera, the Cluster is setting up two mobile storage units with a capacity of 640m² for partners to position their stocks. Similarly in Kombolcha, the Cluster has made available a 900m² storage capacity for partners to position their stocks in Kombolcha. Additional human resource capacity will be deployed to strengthen logistics coordination in these areas.

PROTECTION

  • The cluster is preparing to respond to some 307,000 people as part of the Response Plan in Tigray, Amhara and Afar Regions until February 2021, for which funding is being mobilized. Currently, child protection and gender-based violence programs are ongoing in Afar and Amhara.

  • Cluster members activated the Protection sub-Cluster in Tigray Region to coordinate protection interventions. Mapping of protection partners in the Region is finalized and priority activities identified.

  • The cluster started registration of vulnerable people in Mekelle. While five sub-cities in Mekelle have provided a list, two sub-cities have yet to do so. The INGO World Vision and ICRC have distributed core relief items to IDPs sheltered in different schools in Mekelle, but were only able to address 1 per cent of the need.

WATER, SANITATION AND HYGIENE

  • Fuel for generator was provided for 2,000 households in Western Tigray (Dansha, Humera. MaiKadra, Tegede). IRC distributed MHM kits to 2,000 people (refugees) in/around Mai Ayni, Adi Harush, Shimelba and Hitsats (Tigray). Water service utilities were able to resume in Dansha, Humera and May Kadra (Tigray) with the fuel subsidies provided by Care Ethiopia and Catholic Relief Services (CRS). At least 5,280 liters were provided. Water is however still rationed for both the IDPs and the host communities. WASH NFIs were provided to Alamata Hospital (body soap, liquid and handwashing soaps, bleach, powder soap and face mask) via World Vision, benefitting 25,000 people. Similary, through World Vision, WASH NFI support in Alamata Town benefitted 10,500 people.

  • WASH NFI supplies have been prepositioned for 5,000 IDPs and host community households in Amhara Region North Gonder Zone in Telemit Woreda, North Gonder Zone, Amhara Region and Berhale Woreda, Zone 2, Afar Region.

  • NRC implemented emergency WASH activities (water supply, sanitation and hygiene activities) benefiting 30,000 Individuals (IDPs/host/refugees) in Tigray (North Western Zone), Amhara (Gonder, Adiarkay), Afar (Yalo, Megale, Aba’ala) .

  • Water treatment chemicals were distributed to 120 households in Adiarkay Woreda in North Gonder Zone, Amhara.

  • WASH NFIs were distributed via SWAN to 1,000 displaced households in Yallo, Megale and Aba’ala Woredas in Afar Region.

  • 3,000 dignity kits, 50,000 sachets of WTC, construction materials for 372 emergency latrines and roto tanks and bladders (for the ongoing water trucking) is ongoing. The IOM-run water trucking service will benefit 350 displaced households in Amhara.

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Ethiopia - Tigray Region Humanitarian Update

Situation Report
Coordination

REGULAR MEETINGS

The United Nations and partners continue to engage at the highest levels with the Government of Ethiopia to work out operational details and guarantee access for humanitarian workers and supplies to respond to people affected by the conflict in Tigray. OCHA has put in place an information sharing and clearance mechanism that involves the Logistics Cluster, NDRMC and the Ministry of Peace (MoP) to ensure safe and secure access to Tigray and bordering areas in Amhara and Afar Regions.

The NDRMC is establishing Incident Command Posts in Dansha/Gondar, Alamata, Humera and Shire. The Emergency Coordnation Center in Mekelle has been established and held their first meeting on 1 January to coordinate humanitarian response to people affected by the conflict, as the first convoys of humanitarian commodities arrived in Mekelle.

UNHCR and partners on the ground in Shire Town are making efforts to coordinate response to refugees as much as the security situation allows.  

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Ethiopia - Tigray Region Humanitarian Update

Situation Report
Trends

FUNDING UPDATE

Humanitarian partners have updated the Humanitarian Response Plan for Northern Ethiopia. The plan seeks US$116.5 million to address the immediate needs of an estimated 2.3 million people (1.3 million new caseloads due to the conflict and over 950,000 existing caseload, including refugees).

Humanitarian partners have quickly mobilized funding, including $29.6 million new contributions received from the Central Emergency Response Fund – CERF ($13 million), the Ethiopia Humanitarian Fund - EHF ($12 million), Ireland ($2.4 million) and Switzerland ($2.2 million). An additional $23.5 million was sourced through re-allocation of existing resources. The outstanding funding gap stands at $40.3 million. The plan is for the duration until 31 January 2021.

The IOM flash appeal requires $22 million to contribute to collective preparedness efforts ahead of the humanitarian response to the conflict in Tigray.

The UNHCR Regional Refugee Preparedness and Response Plan for the Ethiopia Situation (Tigray) requires $155.7 million to address the needs of 115,000 projected refugees by June 2021.

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Ethiopia - Tigray Region Humanitarian Update

Situation Report
Visual

Funding Update

Funding Update - 14 January 2021

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