Ethiopia

Ethiopia - Northern Ethiopia Humanitarian Update Situation Report, 25 Mar 2022

Attachments

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The food distribution in Tigray has reached an all-time low since March 2021 as food stocks are almost depleted with only about 68,000 people assisted between 10 - 16 March.

  • To date, 221.8 MT of medical supplies have been airlifted to Tigray which represents only four per cent of the total medications required to meet health needs in Tigray.

  • Nearly 12,000 children in 22 schools in Wag Hemra Zone in Amhara benefited from feeding program and more than more than 9,300 students received exercise books during the week.

  • More than 10,000 people assisted with food in Zone 2 in Afar during the week, reaching 126,000 or 20 percent of the targeted population since last week of February in the region.

  • No amount of operational cash cleared to be transferred to Tigray since 10 March.

BACKGROUND

Situation Overview

The overall situation in northern Ethiopia remains tense and precarious. While the situation in Tigray and Amhara regions remained relatively calm during the reporting period, armed clashes were reported in Kilbet/Zone 2 in Afar region including in the Berhale, Dallol, Erebit and Koneba woredas. Humanitarian access in Zone 2 has been restricted, affecting civilian lives, and restricting their access to livelihood provisions and assistance. Mountainous and rocky terrain in Berhale, Dallol and Koneba coupled with poor roads conditions, have rendered access to populations trapped in conflict-affected zones hard to reach. The fighting in Afar has also increased humanitarian needs significantly, with a growing number of people displaced. In contrast, access in zones 1, 3, 4, and 5 has improved in the region.

In Amhara, the situation along areas bordering Tigray, namely in Wag Hemra, North Wello and North Gondar zones, is tense due to security concerns, leading to additional displacement from those areas into Zekuala, Sekota, Kobo, and Zarima. Several locations including Abergele and Tsagibji in Wag Hemra Zone, north of Kobo in North Wello Zone, and in Addi Arekay in North Gondar Zone also remain hard to reach.

The Semera-Abala-Mekelle route has remained closed since mid-December due to the ongoing hostilities in Afar, not allowing for the movement of humanitarian convoys and further exacerbating the flow of humanitarian supplies into Tigray. Combined with the limited supplies allowed in before the road closure, mainly due to earlier administrative measures, remaining supplies in Tigray to support have become minimal forcing humanitarian partners to either reduce their operations significantly or halt them. In February, 41 partners (7 UN agencies, 17 INGOs, 14 NNGOs and 3 Government partners) operating in Tigray down from 47 partners in January.

As the flow of humanitarian and commercial supplies into Tigray remains severely restricted and insufficient, the prices of basic goods continue to increase while people purchasing power has significantly decreased having a direct impact on livelihoods. Diets, for instance, are increasingly impoverished as food items become unavailable and families rely almost exclusively on cereals while limiting portion sizes. Furthermore, the number of meals consumed each day are being stretched further. It was reported by protection partners that severe food shortage has led to mental and emotional health concerns, especially among children.

Disclaimer

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.