Ethiopia: Humanitarian Concern Areas Snapshot (for January 2014)
New water shortages were reported in drought-prone woredas of Oromia region in the third week of January. Other water-stressed woredas in the region are being closely monitored. Areas that received poor kiremt/karma (June-September 2013) rains in Afar and Tigray regions continue to experience water shortages. The next seasonal rains are expected in March. As of 20 January, 22 water trucks were requested to meet the water needs of more than 168,000 people in Afar, Oromia and Tigray regions. During January, six operational water trucks benefitted more than 36,800 people.
As of 31 January, nine polio cases were reported in Somali region, where several rounds of polio immunization campaigns were conducted since the polio outbreak was declared in May 2013. At the end of January, there were 25 active measles outbreaks affecting 25 woredas in Addis Ababa, Amhara, Dire Dawa, Oromia and SNNP. WHO has not secured funds for the required measles vaccination campaign that aims to target 6.8 million children under-15 in high risk areas. Similarly, WHO reported inadequate stock of meningitis vaccine in Ethiopia to reach the identified at-risk population, while the meningitis outbreak continues in Amaro woreda of Segen People’s zone of SNNPR, where a surge in cases was reported since mid-December 2013. As of 20 January, 38 suspected meningitis cases and two deaths were reported. Following the Amaro assessment, the initial HRD projection of some 1.2 million people at high-risk for meningitis was revised to 2 million people. A dengue fever outbreak in Dire Dawa and a new yellow fever outbreak in South Omo zone, SNNPR are additional public health threats that the Government and health partners are responding to.
While the new arrival rate of Eritrean and Somali refugees in January was low, Ethiopia witnessed a large influx of South Sudanese asylum seekers. As of 25 January, 27,767 South Sudanese refugees arrived in Ethiopia, the majority in Akobo, Gambella region. At that time, an increasing number of refugees were arriving in Matar, Gambella region, and a smaller number in Yabus, Benishangul Gumuz region. The relocation of the Matar caseload started on 23 January. The relocation of the refugees in the logistically challenging Akobo was scheduled for early February to allow for the procurement of life vests for the relocation process.
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