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Ethiopia - Tigray Region Humanitarian Update Situation Report, 12 February 2021

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Situation Report
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HIGHLIGHTS

  • As of the 12 of February, UN agencies and NGOs have received approval from the Federal Government for 53 international staff to move to Tigray.

  • Humanitarians continue to call for the resumption of safe and unimpeded access to adequately meet the rising needs in the region, which have far outpaced the capacity to respond.

  • Current assistance pales in comparison to the increasing needs particularly in rural areas, still out of reach and where most people lived before the conflict.

  • Continued disruptions to essential services pose huge hurdles to the scale up of humanitarian response, more than three months into the conflict.

  • Ongoing clashes are reported in many parts of Tigray, while aid workers continue to receive alarming reports of insecurity and attacks against civilians.

BACKGROUND

SITUATION OVERVIEW

More than three months of conflict, together with constrained humanitarian access, has resulted in a dire humanitarian situation in Tigray. Much of rural areas, where 80 per cent of the population lived prior to the conflict, remain cut off from humanitarian assistance, and there are emerging reports from partners such as the Ethiopian Red Cross Society (ERCS) of children hungry and traumatized by violent experiences. Assistance provided in the past weeks remains drastically inadequate to the rapidly rising needs on the ground, with most areas in Central, Eastern and North Western Zones still inaccessible to humanitarian actors. This is particularly concerning given that many of the newly internally displace people are estimated to be in hard-to-reach areas of Central and North Western Zones.

While access to Tigray has improved, and as of 12 February, 53 international staff have been approved to move to Tigray, humanitarians continue to call for unimpeded access for both humanitarian supplies and personnel to the Region.

While basic services have been gradually restored in the Region, such developments are for the most part limited to Southern and South Eastern Zones and Mekelle Town, and large swathes of Tigray have had no access to telecommunications, electricity, cash and fuel since early November. Many local markets are still reportedly not functioning, exacerbating an already critical situation.

The security situation in Tigray remains volatile, with clashes reported in various locations in North Western, Central, South, South Eastern and Eastern Tigray, according to aid workers on the ground. Partners continue to receive reports of grave violations against civilians, including killings and sexual and genderbased violence (SGBV), also reported by the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission. While many cases of SGBV have been documented at health facilities, the actual number is likely to be higher due to both limited services and stigma around reporting.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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