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Ethiopia - Alarming COVID-19 and nutrition rates in Gambella region (DG ECHO, NGOs and UN partners) (ECHO Daily Flash of 11 August 2020)

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The Gambella region, hosting over 300,000 South Sudanese refugees, has a total of 636 COVID-19 positive cases, giving the region the second largest caseload of COVID-19 per inhabitant, after Addis-Ababa. The quarantine centre in Gambella University is at its full capacity.

Very high needs exist in order to be able to prevent and control the pandemic in Gambella, in particular testing capacity, protection equipment (including for frontline workers), construction and equipment of isolation centres, access to safe and sufficient water, hygiene and sanitation.

In Pagak refugee reception centre, malnutrition rates are above emergency thresholds, with reports of 23.6 percent children under 5 acutely malnourished, including five percent diagnosed with severe acute malnutrition, a potentially aggravating factor in the context of COVID-19 pandemic in the region.

In addition, Gambella amongst the regions of Ethiopia currently affected by heavy flash floods.

DG ECHO partners are providing emergency humanitarian response (mainly in water, hygiene, sanitation, shelter, nutrition and protection) but this remains very limited compared to the high level of needs.