Ongoing hostilities continue to increase humanitarian needs with a growing number of displaced people in Afar and Amhara.
About 100 metric tons of health and nutrition supplies were airlifted during the reporting week to Mekelle, Tigray.
Only about 10,000 people and about 22,500 refugees were assisted with food during the reporting period in Tigray.
More than 102,000 displaced people were reached with essential health service in Amhara during February.
About 87,000 people were assisted with food in Afar during the reporting week, while high energy biscuits were distributed to more than 5,000 newly displaced people.
The overall situation in northern Ethiopia is still highly tense and unpredictable. The situation in some parts of Afar region continues to deteriorate with armed clashes reported during the reporting period in Koneba, Abala, Megale, Erebti, and Dalol, all in Kilbeti Zone (Zone 2). Sporadic clashes were also reported in Amhara along bordering areas with Tigray in Wag Hamra, North Wello and North Gondar zones leading to increasing displacement into Zekuala, Sekota, Kobo, and Zarima woredas.
The ongoing hostilities continue to hinder sustained humanitarian programming, affect civilian lives, their safety, restrict their access to livelihood, and is notably increasing humanitarian needs with a continuing and growing number of displaced people daily. The ongoing clashes in Zone 2 in Afar have reportedly displaced few hundred thousand people since in January 2022. Partners have not been t able to verify the exact numbers of IDPs due to lack of access in hard to reach areas.
There are an estimated 14 sites for internally displaced people (IDPs) in Zone 2, which remain inaccessible due to the active conflict, depriving civilians from receiving or accessing humanitarian assistance and livelihoods sources. Afdera and Guya IDP sites are the only locations where limited assistance is being provided by the regional government authorities and a few humanitarians partners.
The ongoing fighting also continues to block the Semera-Abala-Mekelle route, further exacerbating the flow of humanitarian supplies into Tigray, combined with the limited supplies allowed in before mid-December, mainly due to earlier administrative measures, forcing humanitarian partners to either reduce their operations significantly or halt them. There are currently 37 partners (7 UN agencies, 16 INGOs, 11 NNGOs and 3 Government partners) operating in Tigray compared to 47 partners in January. Supplies and fuel stock for humanitarian response in the region is almost entirely exhausted. Partners are forced to suspend food dispatch only when their transporters can access some fuel locally and remain forced to distribute reduced rations. Among food partners, for instance, there is only less than 600 litres of fuel available (excluding contingency stock) as of 08 March.
Due to lack of assistance, loss of livelihoods and dysfunctional markets, the majority of households in Tigray resorted to negative coping mechanisms, including selling harvest to pay off debts, begging, limiting meal portion sizes and reducing the number of meals per day. Households in urban areas, especially female-headed households, those currently displaced or recently returned, and households with at least one member with disabilities, were found to be particularly heavily reliant on community support to make ends meet.
Meanwhile, between 1 and 7 March, three humanitarian partners airlifted 99.6 metric tons (MT) of urgent medical (5.1 MT) and nutrition (94.5 MT) supplies to Mekelle, Tigray. The nutritional supplies included Ready to Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) for the treatment young children with severe acute malnutrition (SAM). In total, 4,000 boxes of RUTF, 160 cartons of therapeutic milk (F-75) were airlifted to Mekelle by 4 March. In addition, 60 MT of Ready to Use Supplementary Food (RUSF) for managing moderate acute malnutrition were airlifted to Mekelle during the reporting week. About 454,000 children are estimated to be malnourished in Tigray, including more than 115,000 children severely malnourished. About 120,000 pregnant and lactating women (PLW) are also estimated to be malnourished. The airlifting, however, remain limited to low quantities up to 5-13 MT per flight and prioritized to the most urgent supplies.
Part of the supplies airlifted were distributed to health facilities, while distribution of the remaining supplies is ongoing and will be fully dispatched in few weeks. Lack of fuel remains an obstacle to dispatching supplies from Mekelle to other locations in Tigray. Medical supplies delivered to Mekelle general hospital, Quiha general hospital and Fereminatos hospital, all in Mekelle area. In Southern Zone, the supplies delivered to Korem general hospital, Alamata general hospital, Mokoni hospital and the L/Karel general hospital.
In Amhara, over 1,800 IDPs, many of them are women and children, were relocated from the Sunflower IDP site in Debre Birhan, in North Shewa Zone, to a warehouse on 5 March after the owner of the building cut off water and electricity supply and prevented humanitarian partners from accessing the area. The new site lacks basic services such as water or latrines. In North Wello Zone, the number of IDPs in Kobo area continues to increase with current estimates by the zonal authorities at about 53,000 IDPs. Some of the IDPs have been displaced multiple times in the past eight months and are highly vulnerable.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.