Active hostilities remain the main access impediment for scaling up response in rural areas in addition to constrained communications
Humanitarian partners are scaling up response but can only fully implement with access constraints addressed
Three food operators have distributed more than 19,000 metric tons of food for the first round of assistance for 2021, reaching 1.1 million people across the region
COVID-19 screening started in all targeted 15 health facilities in Mekelle At least US$443 million have been allocated to respond to the crisis but more is needed particularly for non-food assistance
The security situation in Tigray remains largely unchanged this week - unpredictable and volatile. Active hostilities in Central,
North-Western, Eastern, South-Eastern and Southern Tigray continue to be the main access impediment for scaling up operations in rural areas, restricting the freedom of humanitarian movement to reach all people in need. Furthermore, disrupted communications in several parts in the region is causing a delay in reporting and monitoring of progress of aid distribution. Challenges in visa extensions for staff of NGO partners is also restraining their capacity to continue with projects. Humanitarian partners were unable to reach the southern parts of Abergele Woreda (Central) since early March due to denial of movement by parties to the conflict. Humanitarian access to Southern Zone also remains restricted by parties to the conflict, with partners unable to mobilize assistance beyond Maychew town. Last week, food trucks were unable to reach food-insecure communities in Ofla and Neqsege Woredas.
In South-Eastern Zone, humanitarian partners had been unable to reach Samre and Saharti Woredas since early March.
Access was possible, however, on 24 and 25 April, when an OCHA supported inter-agency humanitarian convoy, with UNHCR, Action Contre La Faim (ACF), Concern, and Catholic Relief Service (CRS)/local NGO REST, reached Samre and Gijet towns. They delivered emergency food aid, nutrition supplies, non-food items, and established a health clinic in Samre Hospital, which was completely dysfunctional.
Women interviewed in Gijet told visiting humanitarians that lack of medical services are critical, noting the increase in women dying during childbirth and the number of children suffering from acute watery diarrhea as particularly serious. The women also highlighted the social stigma towards survivors of gender-based violence. While some gender-based violence (GBV) survivors are accessing services through the One Stop Centers and mobile medical teams, many other survivors, especially in remote areas, do not have access to services due to continued road closures related to insecurity, stigma around disclosing GBV, and lack of knowledge of the importance of receiving medical care within 72 hours. Furthermore, findings of a rapid protection assessment carried in Sheraro (North-Western Zone) identified GBV and youth situation as main protection concerns.
The population’s access to health care remains highly limited in rural areas. Health Cluster partners reported lack of essential medical equipment for hospitals and health care facilities, including oxygen cylinders in Shire, lack of essential medications for health partners and mobile health and nutrition teams, and lack of fuel for referral and ambulance services.
The scale of food insecurity continues to be large and dire. The interim Regional Administration has estimated that 4.5 million people need food assistance across Tigray region. An additional 631,775 displaced people were included in the plan for the 2021 round 1 (a round lasts about six weeks) food distributions. The main drivers of food insecurity include reduced purchasing power of households following loss of income or livelihood, increase in food prices, inaccessible and poorly functional market systems, lack of communication and network connectivity, and the dynamic movement of IDPs.
Restoring agricultural activities to its pre-conflict state in some of the accessible Woredas and supporting farmers with seed supplies are among the immediate needs to resume farming activities and to increase food products. Access to farming plots, input markets as well as to microfinance institutions and cash remains limited or absent.
COVID-19 cases have been reported among displaced people in Mekelle, amidst poor and overcrowded living conditions of IDP sites, with insufficient isolation centers for contact cases to mitigate a large-scale outbreak.
Please see details on ongoing responses and preparedness under the “Humanitarian Preparedness and Response” section below.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.