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.