ICC Humanitarian Update 22 Jan 2001
The Annual Needs Assessment (ANA) report is under final preparation and appeals for 2001 are being finalised. Despite the fact that no agreement was reached to determine the establishment of the Temporary Security Zone (TSZ), co-ordination mechanisms are being developed in preparation for humanitarian activities in the zone.
Exchange of Nationals
A total of 976 Eritreans detained in Ethiopia were released on 7 January 2001 The detainees were transported to the border crossing by bus with the assistance of the ICRC. This was the second group of Eritreans to return home since the Peace Agreement signed on 12 December 2000. In addition, 359 Eritrean and 360 Ethiopian POWs were repatriated by ICRC to their respective countries by air on 23 and 24 December 2000 and a further 154 were repatriated on 16 January 2001.
Repatriation from Sudan
Discussions are underway regarding the organised repatriation of Eritrean refugees in Sudan from previous rounds of conflict. (A tripartie agreement between UNHCR and the governments of Eritrea and Sudan was prepared in prior to May 2000 but repatriation was unable to take place due to the outbreak of further hostilities.) A new tripartite agreement is expected to be signed in February.
There have been no major IDP movements during recent weeks. As noted in previous Updates, 8,000 rural refugees in Jejah have moved to Shelab and Dembe Doran has emptied with its 4,000 residents relocating to Jejah. Therefore there are a total of 24 camps in Eritrea presently. The working figure for the total number of IDPs in camps, arising from the ANA is 208,000.
UNMEE has now deployed more than three-quarters of its planned 4,200 peace keeping force in Eritrea. As of 10 January 2001, 71 countries have contributed 3,433 military and 125 civilian personnel to the mission. These comprise contingents from Canada, Denmark, Italy, Jordan, the Netherlands and Slovakia, all of which are now fully deployed in UNMEE's area of operation. The Temporary Security Zone (TSZ) and adjacent areas are divided in to three sectors by UNMEE namely West, Central and East and will be manned by the Jordanians, the Dutch and Canadians, and the Kenyans respectively. There are also 154 military observers in the mission area (Eritrea and Ethiopia); most of whom are positioned in 15-observer team sites conducting patrols. A further 60 military observers are expected to arrive before the end of January.
On 8 January, UNMEE opened a new land access route bringing the total number to five. In addition, UNMEE has three helicopter access routes pertaining to the three UNMEE sectors of operations.
MILITARY CO-ORDINATION COMMISSION (MCC)
The first meeting MCC meeting, attended by military representatives of Eritrea and Ethiopia along with UNMEE and OAU, took place in Nairobi 28 December 2001. The meeting failed to determine the TSZ and a follow up meeting planned for 23 January 2001 has since been postponed. The SRSG Mr. Legweila Joseph Legweila has met with the presidents of both countries.
The ANA report will be launched 23 January. It is clear from the assessment that the combined effects of the war and drought, as observed in 2000, will continue to 2001. Therefore there will be ongoing humanitarian needs into 2001, particularly in food aid. Preliminary indicators are that the beneficiary caseload for food aid for 2001 will be 1.76 million persons plus small sub set of non-food.
Electronic copies of the ANA report are available from the ICC and on ReliefWeb. Printed copies will be available by the end of January.
There will be two appeals for humanitarian assistance in Eritrea for 20001, the consolidated UN appeal and one by the Government of Eritrea (GoE). The GoE will appeal for a larger beneficiary caseload (over 2 million) while the UN will appeal for 1.76 million. Like last year, the UN appeal is a sub set of the GoE appeal. Both appeals are due to be launched by the end of January and beginning of February.
CO-ORDINATION MECHANISMS IN ERITREA
Co-ordination mechanisms have been further developed to reflect the situation in Eritrea. ERREC will be responsible for the co-ordination of humanitarian activities in the Temporary Security Zone (TSZ). CCPM is responsible for security and access to the TSZ (once it is established) and
Further details are available in ICC Breifing Paper No.3.
Civil Military Co-operation (CIMIC) now has an office in Dekemhare open to all agencies requiring information relating to sector central.
SECTORAL WORKING GROUPS (SWG)
The MoE has presented a report showing a priority needs for 2001. These include:
- The need to alleviate pressures relating to additional IDP students
- To expand education facilities through the establishment of seven new junior and two new senior secondary schools.
- Increase attention to, and support of, separated children in IDP camps and host families.
- Increase donor support for teachers training programme to enhance human resource development.
- Increase donor support for targeted adult education among IDPs.
The report also notes the need for education programmes to be fully integrated in to emergency operations and not to be seen as secondary to other interventions such as food, health and WatSan programmes.
Please Note: Education SWG will move to monthly meetings from now on. Next meeting is scheduled to 09 February 2001.
Reviewing operations in 2000, the food SWG concluded that separate war and drought distribution mechanisms hampered the food aid operation. Therefore, it was agreed to have a single distribution system for 2001. The SWG also concluded the need for a nutritionist to attend the meetings to help plan distributions of supplementary food and in particularly arrange distribution plan for corn Soya Blend (a supplementary food) of which there is 5,370MT and DMK 243MT in stock. Agencies also highlighted the need for distribution plans to be shared with them and to be informed in a timely manner of any changes to those plans.
The lack of land mine maps continues to hamper operations. Under the Security Council Resolution 1320, 15 September 2000, both governments are obliged to provide these maps to UNMEE.
As of January, UNMACC has begun providing daily updates relating to mine action. There have been no serious mine incidents in the reporting period however a cow detonated an anti person mine in the border town of Omhajer. EDF engineers found and disposed an additional of six land mines in the area.
HALO Trust will begin training this month of 400 land mine clearance personnel. The deminers will work primarily in the TSZ and adjacent areas but they have the mandate for demining countrywide.
Clothing and blankets continue to be a priority need for IDPs. Reviewing distribution to date the quality of blankets in particular was brought in to question.
There have been no major developments in the reporting period. The SWG is preparing a report outlining operations during the emergency period since May 2000.
The MoH presented information related to emergency operations since May 2000 based on regular reporting from all IDPs camps. During the eight months period between May and December 2000. there were a total of 107,676 medical cases reported of which 55 ended in death. During the same period, 199 births and 33 natural deaths were also reported. The MoH also presented an annual nutrition report for 2000 highlighting the following:
The MoH also presented the following reports to the SWG:
- Nutrition annual report 2000
- Summary of the findings of formative research carried out in IDP camps in Eritrea, September 4 to 13, 2000 (printed January 2001)
- Summary report on IDP (Quantitative data concerning reported medical cases in IDP camps)
- Eritrea EPI Programme Review Report
Copies of these reports are available electronically from the MoH and ICC.
Eritrea joined nine east African countries to co-ordinate efforts to eradicate polio in the region and will attend a conference on this issue in Khartoum, 22-24 January 2001. This is part of an international campaign to eradicate polio worldwide by the year 2005.
The next meeting is scheduled for 25 Jan 2001. The meeting is planned to be a brainstorming session during which the continuation of group will be discussed.
VSO currently have a representative from London in Eritrea to assess the possibility of resuming operations. Prior to the conflict and the need to evacuate staff, VSO had up to 60 volunteered teachers working in Eritrea.
CARE is hosting a consultant on gender/sexual violence issues. The potential for psychosocial programmes for 2001 is one of the areas being assessed.
Grassroots International has a representative in Eritrea. Grassroots International has been funding programmes for the last 17 years.
UNHCR moved offices today and are now situated on Emp Yohannes St #108 (close to the Sunshine Hotel). Their telephone numbers remain the same.
ICC now has a second telephone line, 18 29 23. Please be aware that the fax is not operational but faxes can be sent via ERREC on 18 29 70. Please clearly indicate the fax is for the ICC.
SCHDULE FOR NEXT SWG MEETINGS
INFORMATION CO-ORDINATION CENTRE (ICC)
Yemane Tekleyohannes, ERREC
Tanya Power-Stevens, OCHA
Tel. 18 51 54/18 29 23, Fax. 18 29 70
ICC, a joint ERREC/UN venture to facilitate the humanitarian intervention in Eritrea