The humanitarian preparedness and response operations in Northern Ethiopia continue to be significantly restricted by several factors, including conflict and bureaucratic impediments such as the inability to bring sufficient supplies, fuel, and cash to Tigray, the high number of people in need, limited access to people in hard-to-reach areas due to insecurity, limited presence of partners on the ground, especially in Afar, and lack of funding.
The measles campaign launched during the first week of January in Mekelle and another 8 towns across Tigray region targeting more than 767,000 children, aged between 6 and 59 months, is ongoing, reaching more than 145,000 children to date. Health partners report that the campaign is facing serious challenges including lack of fuel, cash, cold chain capacity, vehicles, and limited number of health care workers.
Twelve health partners continue to provide healthcare services to the affected population through the provision of direct support to health facilities or through mobile health and nutrition teams in Mekelle, Central, North-Western, and South-Eastern zones in Tigray, reaching more than 10,000 people with outpatient consultations and about 7,500 people with mental health and psychosocial services during the reporting week.
Despite the very limited resources, more than 15,000 IDP children, of which more than half are girls, have received non-formal alternative learning programs in Mekelle, Adwa and Axum, Wukro and Endabaganu IDP sites, in Tigray, while about 5,000 children received learning and recreational materials in Mekelle and Shire IDP sites. According to local authorities, 80 per cent of primary schools in Tigray are now open with about 70 per cent enrolment (90 per cent enrolment in urban areas and 40 per cent in rural areas). In Amhara, back to school campaign started in North Gondar, South Gondar, Wag Hemra, and Oromo zones with 1,765 schools opened.
UNHAS continues to operate two flights per week between Addis Ababa and Mekelle in Tigray. No humanitarian workers were cleared to travel by road from Semera to Mekelle since 28 October. A limited amount of operational cash was transferred on UNHAS flights, but this remains below the amount of cash needed to support operations and programs and provide a meaningful response at the required scale. The limit of ETB 2 million per agency per week remains in effect.
Between 6-12 January, about 10,500 people were reached with food assistance in Adet and Naeder woredas in Tigray under the current food distribution cycle. Cumulatively, partners have assisted about 495,000 people in Tigray in the last three months (from mid-October-12 January) under the current round, whereas 870,000 people need to be reached every week so that the 5.2 million people targeted receive food during the six weeks food distribution cycle.
In Amhara, more than 578,000 people reached with food assistance during the week under two food distribution rounds (325,000 under Round 4 and more than 253,000 people with food under Round 5). Cumulatively, as of 16 January, about 2.9 million people have been reached with food under Round 4 distributions, launched on 21 October 2021, and more than 2.1 million people have been reached under Round 5 distribution launched on 20 December. Agriculture partners dispatched about 70 MT of wheat seeds to be distributed to farmers in South Wello while more than 1.5 MT of onion and 0.4 MT of tomato seeds were distributed in North Wello, South Wello, North Shewa and Oromo zones. More than 40,000 people received emergency shelter and non-food items during the reporting period in Amhara, bringing the total number of people reached to more than 612,000 people as of 9 January.
In Afar, more than 47,000 people were reached with food assistance in Fanti Rasu and Kilbati Rasu zones. In total, 377,000 people or 71 per cent of the people targeted for food assistance in zones 1, 2 and 4 were reached by 16 January. Thirty mobile health and nutrition teams continue to provide essential nutrition services in remote and conflict-affected communities in Afar, while emergency nutrition program commenced in three conflict-affected woredas of Gulina, Erebti and Dallol.