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Ethiopia - Tigray Region Humanitarian Update Situation Report, 13 August 2021



  • Delivery of supplies into Tigray are far below the requirement to sustain assistance to 5.2 million people.
  • The spill over of the conflict into the neighbouring regions of Afar and Amhara is significantly increasing humanitarian needs in both regions.
  • Operations continue to be affected by lack of banking services, cash, fuel, electricity and telecommunications, with some improvements in delivery of cash by humanitarian partners.
  • Between 29 July - 04 Aug. food partners reached over 242,000 people with food under Round 1 distribution of the Northern Ethiopia Response Plan; and 412,000 people under Round 2.
  • Nutrition partners reached more than 54,000 children with supplementary food during the reporting period.



OCHA Ethiopia prepares this report with the support of Cluster Coordinators. The data/information collected covers the period from 3- 9 August. The dashboard data below is as of 15 July. In some cases, access and communication constraints mean that updates for the period are delayed. The next issue of the sitrep will be published on 19 August.


Situation Overview

The situation in Tigray, and the spillover of the conflict to neighboring Afar and Amhara regions, is very dynamic and unpredictable. While humanitarian access within Tigray has significantly improved, with an estimated 75 per cent of the area now accessible, humanitarian actors are unable to fully capitalize on this due to the limited flow and availability of humanitarian supplies and enablers to support the response.

Physical access into Tigray via the only road access through Afar Region (Semera-Abala corridor) is partially restricted due to insecurity, extended delays with clearances by concerned authorities, and intense search procedures at checkpoints. Access to North-Western Tigray through Amhara-controlled Western Tigray remains blocked to relief partners, including Mai Tsebri Town, Tselemeti and Dimma *Woredas, *due to damages to the bridge over the Tekeze River, high-water levels of the river, and security concerns. The northern parts of Tigray, along the Eritrean border, continue to be inaccessible due to fluid security situation.

Staff rotation to and from the region is improving. Last week (2-6 August), United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) passenger flight from Addis Ababa to Mekelle operated two scheduled flights. This week, UNHAS also operated two flights per schedule on 10 and 12 August. A convoy transporting 37 UN staff departed Mekelle to Addis via Semera on 3 August and a second convoy with nine UN staff departed on 6 August.

Food insecurity and malnutrition remain critical. Over 400,000 people are living in famine-like situations, with increasing risks of famine. The agricultural planting season has been missed in many parts of Tigray. The best estimate for the harvest is dire. It is expected that only 25 -50 per cent of the average cereal production will be available this year. Besides, there are no available food stocks as many people were prevented from planting for the last eight months. As a consequence, emergency food assistance will be required up to the next year’s harvest season in October 2022. Malnutrition rates are very high, far above the emergency threshold. Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) rates among screened children under 5 years are consistently 25-30% or higher, twice the emergency threshold. Malnutrition rates among screened pregnant and lactating women have been between 45-50%.

While WFP was able to deliver food to over a million people in North-Western Zone and parts of Southern Zone in June and July, it has only reached half of those it planned to reach. This is due to the limitations on operations as a result of the lack of banking services, cash, fuel, electricity and telecommunications. Several partners are currently operating in debt and if cash flow is not resolved, they may soon be forced to halt operations.

On 4 August, the Government of Ethiopia announced the suspension of three INGOs (MSF-Holland, Norwegian Refugee Council and Al-Maktoume Foundation) for three months, citing concerns about public messaging and compliance with certain rules and regulations. Consequently, MSF-Holland clinic in the Sheraro health centre closed on 8 August affecting access to health to many patients, including an estimated 70 emergency cases per day.

Meanwhile, the spillover of the conflict into neighboring Afar and Amhara regions continue to take a heavy toll on civilians with increased displacements and civilian casualties. In Afar, nearly 76,500 people are reportedly displaced following the movement of Tigray forces into Yalo, Awra, Gulina, and Ewa Woredas of Zone 4 (Fantana Rasu). There are unconfirmed reports of an attack on 5 August, on a health center and school in Galikoma Kabele in Fenti Zone. In addition, a warehouse was reportedly ransacked. It has not been possible to access the zone to verify the information, on numbers of people killed. However, 46 people were transferred to Dufti hospital in Semera, with mild to severe injuries.

In Amhara, an estimated 200,000 people have been displaced in a number of conflict-affected areas in North Gondar, Central Gondar, South, Wag Hemra, North Wello, and in various pockets across the region. On 5 August, Tigray forces reportedly took control of Lalibela, prompting unconfirmed number of displacements. There are also an unconfirmed number of IDPs in Zigem Woreda in Awi Zone. Humanitarian partners are working to establish the scale of the needs and gradually scaling up the response in both Afar and Amhara, despite the security constraints and limited resources.


UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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