Ethiopia

Ethiopia - Situation Report, 22 Jul 2022

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HIGHLIGHTS

  • 16.5 million people targeted for assistance in drought affected areas for the second half of the year, a rise from 8.1 million people targeted in the first half of the year.
  • More than 1.7 million people will be affected including more than 407,000 people at risk of displacement due to the anticipated flooding, according to the Flood Contingency Plan.
  • Only 15 per cent of cash needs for humanitarian operations entered Tigray since July 2021.
  • On 27 July, a crossline humanitarian convoy entered Abergele, Tsagbji and Ziquala woredas in Wag Hamra Zone in Amhara to deliver food assistance, for the first time in over a year.

BACKGROUND

Disclaimer

This is OCHA Ethiopia bi-weekly digital Situation Report covering the humanitarian situation, needs, response and gaps country-wide. The weekly Northern Ethiopia Situation Report has been discontinued and will be included in this report. This report is prepared with the support and collaboration of cluster coordinators and humanitarian partners. In some cases, access and communication constraints mean that updates for the period are delayed and cannot be reflected. Boundaries, names, and designations of districts/zones indicated in the report do not imply official endorsement or acceptance by the United Nations. Please contact ocha-eth-communication@un.org for any comment or question you may have on this publication.

Situation Overview

The overall humanitarian situation in Ethiopia has significantly deteriorated in 2022 leading to increased humanitarian needs across the country due to ongoing conflict and violence, and climatic shocks such as the prolonged drought. More than 20 million people are to be targeted for humanitarian assistance and protection this year. Nearly three quarters of them are women and children.

In northern Ethiopia, despite the ongoing response the humanitarian needs across all sectors continue to be high including high levels of food insecurity and malnutrition. In the Tigray Region, since the resumption of humanitarian convoy movements on 1 April, and as of 1 August, 6,105 trucks or more than 1.4 million metric tons (MT)of humanitarian supplies have arrived in Mekelle via Afar.

On 3 August, 600,000 liters of fuel or 12 tankers arrived in Mekelle. The fuel will support the dispatch of more than 95,000 MT of food and other lifesaving supplies in the Mekelle warehouse to the affected population in Tigray. This brings the total amount of fuel entered the region since 1 April to about 1.8 million liters, but an estimated two million litres are required every month for humanitarian operations, including fuel for humanitarian convoys entering and leaving Tigray. Meanwhile, the first batch of 7,200 MT of fertilizer was dispatched in Tigray with partners completing the distribution of 1,066 MT to more than 21,300 households in 47 kebeles in North-Western Zone

In parallel, airlifting of life saving critical supplies to Mekelle continued, although at a slower rate as road convoys resumed. Since 24 January 2022, there have been 127 rotations of supplies airlifted to Tigray carrying 993 MT of supplies or equivalent to about 25 trucks.

While cash for humanitarian operations also continues to be transferred by air to Tigray, the amount of cash allowed, however, remains insufficient to meet the amount of cash needed to support operations and programs and to provide a meaningful response at the required scale. Partners estimate that ETB300 million, equivalent to US$6 million, is required per week, but only ETB2.5 billion (approximately $47 million) has entered the region since 12 July 2021, or 15 per cent of cash needs for humanitarian operations.

On 10 July, a COVID-19 vaccination campaign was launched at Mekelle hospital in Tigray. As of 25 July, more than 171,000 people, above the age of 18 years, were vaccinated out of the 279,000 eligible people within Mekelle city targeted by the campaign. This included more than 88,500 women or 52 per cent of all vaccinated. The campaign is the first COVID-19 vaccination in Tigray, and there are plans to cascade it to other big towns if resources allow. The campaign, however, faced challenges including intermittent power outage affecting cold-chain maintenance, lack of fuel, limited communication and internet access affecting timely results and reporting, difficulty locating IDPs in host communities, and low partners’ participation.

In Afar Region, the humanitarian situation continues to be dire with alarming levels of food insecurity and malnutrition due to the combined effects of drought and conflict, ensuing displacement, lack of market access, and high food prices.

Between 27 and 28 July, an NGO partner and local authorities reported an estimated 150 new IDP households, mostly female-headed, of Tigrayan origin from Raya Azebo woreda arrived to Dibina kebele in Yallo woreda in Zone 4. The reason behind the displacement is not yet confirmed. The IDPs are reportedly in primary need of food, shelter and non-food items including clothes.

Also in Afar, majority of the IDPs of Tigrayan origin in Semera IDP site (6,660 people) and in the IDPs in Agatina IDP site (approximately 740 people) requested to return to their places of origin within Afar or to relocate to Tigray as soon as possible, as per the results of the IDP profiling done by humanitarian partners. Partners are also arranging the logistics for the for the transport of the IDPs to Abala and to Tigray and are finalizing the return plan including dates and numbers of IDPs per each return location in both Afar and Tigray.

The majority of the IDPs in Afar have already returned to their area of origin. The living conditions for returnees, however, are reported to be dire due to lack of basic services, lack of livelihood sources, the destruction of vital infrastructure, low partners’ presence, and capacity to provide adequate assistance, thus increasing the risk of returnees’ secondary displacement and protection risks. Meanwhile, food, nutrition, health, protection, and WASH services are being provided to returnees in Abala town. This includes nutrition supplement, and additional water trucking, hospital rehabilitation, and mobile health and nutrition teams as well as partial protection coverage.

In Amhara Region, a humanitarian convoy of 14 trucks crossed the line of contact into Abergele, Tsagbji and Ziquala woredas in Wag Hamra Zone on 27 July to deliver food assistance for the first time in over a year to about 31,000 people. Other humanitarian supplies are planned to be delivered into the area, including nutrition and health supplies.

Meanwhile, new arrivals of IDPs to Debre Birhan town in North Shewa Zone reportedly continues due to lack of services at places of return and lack of humanitarian assistance. The town currently hosts more than 21,000 IDPs in collective centers and with the host community. In North Gondar Zone, more than 142,00 IDPs, according to regional authorities, of which more than 12,000 of them live in three IDP sites (Dabat, Debark Kulich Meda and Zarema).

Ethiopia is experiencing one of the most severe droughts in the last forty years following four consecutive failed rainy seasons since late 2020 pushing an increasing number of people into an alarming life-threatening situation. Most recent forecasts project that the October to December season will also be below average, setting the stage for an unprecedented fifth failed rainy season. This new climatic shock has further compromised already fragile livelihoods heavily reliant on livestock - most of which has died- and deepening food insecurity and malnutrition. At present, there is 16.5 million people targeted for assistance across the drought affected areas for the second half of the year, a rise from 8.1 million people targeted in the first half of the year and according to latest estimates. To date, it is estimated that more than 3.5 million livestock have died, while at least 25 million are at risk and are very weak and emaciated with no or little milk production, the main source of nutrition for children.

Between January and June 2022, 13.8 million people in drought affected areas were assisted with different types of humanitarian assistance. This included 7.9 million people with food, 2.4 million people with water, sanitation, and hygiene, 911,000 people with nutrition, 521,000 people with education, 513,000 people with health services, 491,000 with emergency shelter and non-food items, 386,000 people with camp coordination and management, and 289,000 people with protection services.

In Somali Region, the armed group of Al-Shabab based in Somalia has perpetrated several attacks in Afder, Liban and Shabelle zones between 21 and 25 July. The attacks have prompted all aid partners to suspend movements and operations along the affected areas temporarily affecting the drought response in the region.

In contrast, vast areas in Ethiopia are affected by flooding due to seasonal heavy rains. On 22 July, the endorsed joint Government – Humanitarian Partners’ National Flood Contingency Plan 2022 for Kiremt rainy season identified more than 1.7 million people will be affected including more than 407,000 people at risk of displacement due to the anticipated flooding across 11 regions as well as Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa City Administrations. The plan requires about US$588,739,856 to mitigate the impact of flooding and response.

In western Ethiopia, humanitarian and protection needs continue to increase with ongoing hostilities in Benishangul Gumuz, Oromia, and SNNP regions leading to high numbers of displacement; damage to infrastructure and basic services; exposing the population to major protection risks; and preventing meaningful humanitarian assessment and response. In Western Oromia, the security situation is still tense and unpredictable with clashes reported in some areas during the reporting period including West and East Wollega zones. Access to people in need has significantly constrained by insecurity.

The humanitarian situation in Benishangul Gumuz Region continue to be concerning by increased levels of violence and limited humanitarian response. More than 460,0000 people are estimated to be displaced, 318,000 of whom in Metekel Zone, 79,000 in Kamashi Zone, and 66,000 in Assosa Zone and Mao Komo Special woreda since the last quarter of 2020. In Metekel Zone, the security situation in some woredas has improved significantly since April, allowing humanitarian partners to operate in accessible areas. However, the situation in Guba and some parts of rural areas remains fluid and hard to reach, leaving thousands of IDPs, with very limited access to assistance. Both Kamashi Zone and Mao Komo Special woreda remain heard-to-reach due to insecurity while most part of Assosa Zone is accessible. Throughout the region, the humanitarian response is impeded by insecurity-related access constraints, limited partners’ presence, and lack of funding. Access to food aid, health, shelter, water and sanitation, and livelihoods are the most urgent needs.

Disclaimer

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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