Ethiopia

Situation Report
Background

Situation Overview

Multiple man-made and natural crisis across different regions of Ethiopia continue to drive high humanitarian needs. As indicated in the 2022 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP), more than 20 million people will require humanitarian assistance and protection services until the end of 2022. The mid-year review of the 2022 HRP is being finalized and will also incorporate the recently released Drought Response Plan (1).

Following the resumption of hostilities some three weeks ago, after a five-month generally calm situation in northern Ethiopia, the displacement of tens of thousands of people has been reported in parts of Afar, Amhara and Tigray regions. The situation continues to create higher humanitarian needs and further stretch the limited response capacity of humanitarian partners striving to deliver assistance to people in need.

In Afar Region, 6,037 IDPs have voluntarily relocated from Semera to Ab’ala, and the Semera IDP site has been effectively closed on 5 September.The relocation process had started on 16 August. Humanitarian partners continue to provide assistance to those relocated in their current location, including supporting health services and water infrastructure in Ab’ala. Voluntary relocation from another site in Semera and of internally displaced persons (IDPs) residing with the host community will be conducted once preparations are completed and if security situation permits.

Meanwhile, new displacements continue to be reported due to the ongoing hostilities in Afar Region. Displacements are also being reported due to floods, withmore than 59,000 people reportedly displaced in Asayita, Afambo, Dubti and Mille in Zone 1 and Gewane, Gelalo, Amibara, Hanruka, Buremudaytu, Awash Fentale and Dulecha Woredas in Zone 3. Additional areas are at risk of floods. Some of the newly displaced people have received food, emergency shelter and non-food items assistance, albeit still very limited compared to the high needs. At the same time, some flood-affected areas remain temporarily inaccessible.

In Amhara Region, the hostilities are affecting communities in North Gondar, North Wollo and Wag Hemra zones among others. Debark in North Gondar, Kobo and Woldiya in North Wollo as well as Abergele and Sekota in Wag Hemra remain hard-to-reach for humanitarian operators due to the volatile security situation. Destruction of property and of civilian infrastructure has also been reported. In North Wollo Zone, Jara IDP site was reportedly looted and part of the existing infrastructure damaged or destroyed. On 30 August 2022, more than 30,000 IDPs who were sheltering in the site had left looking for safety as news spread about fighting reportedly nearing Woldiya City, which is located some 50 kilometers from Jara. Most of the IDPs have now returned to the damaged site where the Government and humanitarian partners have resumed the provision of food and water trucking services. Lack of fuel and intermittent access challenges, however, are limiting the response efforts.

Regional authorities have recently set up six collective sites in Mersa Town in North Wollo Zone on 6 September to accommodate increased number of IDPs. At least 12,000 newly displaced people, mainly women and children, are taking refuge in the town. Following the findings of a recent interagency needs assessment mission to Mersa Town, partners are mobilizing food and non-food items for distribution to assist them. A mobile health and nutrition team has already been dispatched to the town.

The overall food security level is concerning with at least 5 million people considered food insecure in Amhara. The situation is particularly dire in conflict-affected areas in the region. Malnutrition levels in more than 80 per cent of these areas are high. The most recent Government nutrition hotspot classification published in March 2022 revealed 125 hotspot woredas across the region, of which 74 are Priority One for response. Blanket and targeted supplementary feeding as well as school feeding programs are ongoing, but due to resources’ constraints, partners can target only 83 per cent of the targeted food-insecure people, including some only receiving an incomplete food basket (limited to wheat).

Flooding has also been reported in several flood-prone areas in Amhara Region, including in North Gondar, South Gondar and West Gojam zones. The Regional Flood Contingency Plan estimates that more than 487,000 people will be affected, of which more than 29,000 are likely to be displaced across 32 woredas in seven zones. Food response is ongoing but with severe limitations due to resource constraints.

Similarly, in Tigray Region, hostilities continued to be reported in several parts with tens of thousands of people reportedly displaced and civilian property and infrastructure damaged. New conflict-induced displacements are expected around Adigrat, Mai Tsebri and Sheraro. Movements of humanitarian convoy along the Semera - Mekelle route remains suspended since 24 August, hindering the transportation of humanitarian supplies. The United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) flights, which had been flying between Addis Ababa and Mekelle twice per week and had recently announced the organization of a third weekly flight, also remains suspended since 26 August, hampering the rotation of humanitarian workers and the transfer of cash for humanitarian operations. Nevertheless, the distribution of humanitarian assistance continues in accessible areas in Tigray with the remaining available stocks in the region, including supporting health centers and hospitals medical supplies and cold chain equipment (freezers and refrigerators). Partners have also mobilized shelter supplies for 23,000 newly displaced households in Shire and Mekelle towns, while preparations are underway to receive new IDPs in Sebacare IDP site in Mekelle and Mai Dimu site in Shire.

Hostilities in parts of western, southern, and eastern Ethiopia also continue to drive humanitarian needs. Hostilities in western Oromia, particularly in the Wollega zones, have also led to an influx of displacement across the Wollega zones and into Amhara Region, particularly to Debre Birhan Town in North Shewa Zone. The latest insecurity in Somali Region continues to impede the drought response, particularly in parts of Afder and Shabelle zones, as well as partially in Liben Zone. Meanwhile in Siti Zone, people displaced by violence in recent months are receiving assistance. The displaced population is sheltering in Aydhidhi, Bediwayn, Caska and Garba sites. An inter-agency mission will be monitoring the ongoing response to gauge new needs as well as identify gaps.

In eastern and southeastern Ethiopia, the Government and humanitarian partners continue to mobilize resources to scale-up multi-sector lifesaving assistance to close to 17 million people living in drought-affected areas, but the needs still surpass ongoing response, where the drought continues to impact several essential and critical sectors. In addition to deepening food insecurity and rising malnutrition, school dropouts and protection risks are rife. At present, around 9.9 million people require food assistance, and 2.9 million children and pregnant and breastfeeding women require nutrition interventions until the end of the year. The education of 1.4 million children has also been disrupted due to drought-induced migration, school closure or communicable diseases. The health impacts of the drought are also rising, including measles and diarrheal cases.

In Somali Region,for example, the number of dysentery/diarrheal cases have shown an increasing trend in recent weeks, particularly in Afder, Dawa, Fafan and Shabelle zones. Overall, the number of diarrheal cases in the region has increased by 33 per cent compared to the same period last year. The Government and partners are implementing prevention and control measures, including increasing access to safe drinking water and sanitation, provision of drugs and overall support to health facilities. Overall, 11 million people in drought affected areas require health interventions until the end of the year. In SNNPR, even if water availability has improved following the good rains received during the summer/Kiremt (June-September) rainy season, water trucking support needs to continue in the chronically water-insecure areas such as Benatsemay, Dasenech, Gangatom and Hamer woredas of South Omo Zone; Wera Dijo Woreda of Halaba Zone, and Dugna Fango Woreda of Wolayita Zone.

The humanitarian situation is expected to deteriorate further in parts of drought affected areas with the reported fifth consecutive failed Deyr/Hageya rainy season (October – December), according to most recent forecasts. The extent of the drought impact is captured in the revised Drought Response Plan (1) published on 8 September. This plan will serve to organize and monitor the drought response until the end of 2022.

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Footnotes

1. Find link to the Drought Response Plan here: https://bit.ly/3S5zzYf

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