In Ethiopia, International Medical Corps is now co-chair of the health and nutrition sub-cluster based in Gondar for the Tigray response.
We have completed 2,700 consultations, and reached 5,000 people with awareness-raising through our mobile health and nutrition clinics in Humera, Wolkayit and Tsegede woredas.
In Sudan, we have reached 1,075 people with hygiene promotion and COVID-19 prevention services in the last two weeks.
The conflict between the Ethiopian National Defence Force and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front continues, leading to massive humanitarian needs in both Ethiopia and Sudan. There have been reports of escalating tensions and increased fighting in the region, particularly in the urban centres of Mekhele and Shire. The ongoing instability has also led to an increase in violence and looting. Of particular concern are the mounting reports of sexual and gender-based violence by armed actors, raising calls for an immediate increase in protection services in the area. There also is still an acute threat of widespread malnutrition due to disruptions to markets and livelihoods.
In Sudan, more than 61,000 refugees have been registered at the crossing points along the Sudan–Ethiopia border. While most of the refugees continue to arrive through the Hamdayet transit center, UNHCR saw a decrease of new arrivals to the transit center of Village 8. The new arrivals have reported that they had to leave behind elderly and chronically ill loved ones due to the long walk required to reach the border, and food and water shortages along the way. Currently, the efforts of most UN agencies and their partners are focused on relocation of refugees from the transit centers and the Um Rakuba camp, to move refugees away from the border and ensure their safety and security. However, during discussions UNHCR conducted with community leaders among the refugee population, it became evident that some are reluctant to be relocated away from the border. While some wish to remain close to Ethiopia in case the violence decreases and they can return to their country, other refugees are waiting for their family members to reach Sudan.
Moreover, humanitarian response efforts are focused on filling the existing gap in service delivery in the reception facilities, especially in the recently established Tunaydbah camp. In the Um Rakuba camp, there has been an increase of cases of watery diarrhea, which has been attributed to a lack of hygiene and clean water service. Partners are also highlighting the increasing prevalence of acute malnutrition across all locations. All partners are working to address gaps in the delivery of services and expand humanitarian assistance to the population in need.