Ethiopia + 3 more

Africa: Tigray Population Movement Information bulletin (20 November 2020)


This bulletin is issued for information only and reflects the current situation and details available at this time. Respective National Societies, with the support of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) Disaster Relief Emergency Funds (DREF) has been released to support Sudan Red Crescent; and is in process for to support Ethiopian Red Cross with their response to the situation as it currently stands. The IFRC is continuously monitoring the situation as it evolves; and is on standby to expand the support being provided to member National Societies as necessary. This will be done in coordination with other Movement components including the ICRC.

The situation

Since 3 November 2020, A series of escalating clashes between the Ethiopian Federal Government and the Tigray Regional Government has resulted in a growing humanitarian emergency including heavy casualties and population movements both internally and cross border. An estimated 9 million people within or near the Tigray region are at risk due to increasing confrontations.

On 6 November 2020, Ethiopian Lawmakers approved a state of emergency for a period of six months in the Tigray Region. On 7 November 2020, the Ethiopian Parliament voted to dissolve the Government of Tigray Region, putting in place a transitional government for the region. On 13 November 2020 saw an escalation in the situation with rocket fire hitting Bahir Dar and Gondar airports in the Amhara Region, which neighbors Tigray to the south. On 14 November 2020, rocket fire hit the capital of Eritrea, Asmara.

Access into Tigray Region has been severely restricted, with roads blocked, flights suspended, and communication lines (including phone and internet) shut down. There are reports that access is increasing, with some roads now open but remains extremely limited.

The Tigray Region, with a population of approximately 5 million, was already host to approximately 600,000 people dependent on relief assistance before the crisis, including 400,000 food insecure, 100,000 IDPs, and nearly 96,000 refugees, and nearly 16,000 returned migrants1 . While in neighboring regions of Ethiopia and surrounding countries, people were already grappling with the effects of COVID19, as other disasters and crises, including floods, food insecurity and pest infestations. The population movement resulting from the situation in Tigray Region, compounds the impact of these crises leaving people even more at risk, and even more vulnerable.