The humanitarian situation in Guji zone continues to deteriorate due to the compounded effects of multiple crises, in particular ongoing security operations by security forces against Unidentified Armed Groups (UAGs) and the triple threat of COVID-19, floods, and desert locust. The nature of the conflict is continuously evolving particularly in Gumi Eldelo and Liban woredas, prompting the confinement of entire communities and internally displaced persons (IDPs), loss of lives and livelihoods. Reports indicate continued displacements as a result of security operations. In June, near 800 people were displaced from Gumi Eldelo to Negelle town. Overall, 120,800 people (80,800 people displaced in successive waves since June 2019 plus 40,000 since September 2017) remain displaced as a result of active hostilities and intercommunal conflict across the zone, mainly in Gumi Eldelo, Liban, Goro Dola and Seba Boru, Agawayu and Wadara woredas.
After months of displacement and limited humanitarian assistance, the population remains affected by insecurity, restricted movement and lack of access to basic services and livelihoods. Humanitarian space continues shrinking thus compromising the safety of the population, aid partners and operations. Close to 18,000 IDPs remain cut-off from assistance in areas inaccessible to aid partners. Since April, security operations intensified in Gumi Eldelo, Liban, Goro Dola and Seba Boru woredas, with reported allegations (as documented by the recent Amnesty International Report) of violence, arbitrary detentions and other human rights violations against the population by all parties in the conflict. In May, partners were not able to access the entire Gumi Eldelo woreda and parts of Liban, Goro Dola and Seba Boru woredas. In June, access improved but the situation remained fragile, for instance, almost all of Gumi Eldelo’s IDP sites and Saba Boru were only accessible on an intermittent basis.
Despite the high insecurity, humanitarian partners have not been targeted and been able to operate in such high-risk environment.
The aid community in Ethiopia has called for a cessation of violence to allow for full resumption of humanitarian operations especially in light of COVID-19 pandemic and remain concerned by the continued violations of human rights by all parties to the conflict.
The humanitarian response has been hampered by insecurity as well as COVID-19. Despite these, authorities dispatched food to 69,400 IDPs. However, 11,400 IDPs have not received food assistance since October 2019(5,000 in Saba Boru, 3,200 in Goro Dola, 1,900 in Agawayu, 1,300 in Liban). In addition, the population remains in dire need of non-food items (including clothes, and household items), shelter and WASH.
Access to health care in Guji is compromised by limited health infrastructure, with service provision to IDPs often interrupted by insecurity rendering many facilities non-operational. Partners have reported cases whereby health posts are being used by security forces, further limiting communities’ access to essential services.
Meanwhile, the number of COVID-19 cases in Guji is increasing (nine confirmed as of 30 June), and partners expressed concerns over the lack of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Limited access has impacted the response to desert locust; the supply of pesticides/ bio-insecticides, and equipment for control operations.
Only eight partners are present and operational in Guji, and have indicated that insecurity and COVID-19 has significantly delayed many projects’ implementation.
In April, heavy rains in Liban woreda damaged 57 houses and washed away crops in 151 hectares of cultivated land, impacting physical access. Currently, access to some kebeles in Gumi Eldelo woreda remains partly restricted due to poor road conditions, while the Negelle - Hudet road remains cut off by a damaged bridge.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.