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Ethiopia: Tigray Region Humanitarian Update - Situation Report No. 3 (17 November 2020)

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HIGHLIGHTS

• The humanitarian impact of the ongoing conflict between federal and Tigray regional forces is increasing as the days progress. Several thousands of people are reported displaced in Tigray fleeing conflict.

• Similarly, Ethiopians crossing the border to Sudan is increasing. The displaced population is mainly crossing through three border entry points at a daily average arrival rate of 4000. More than 27,000 people have so far fled to Sudan.

• The protection of populations impacted by the conflict remains an overarching humanitarian concern. In addition to safety, ensuring civilian access to vital goods and services is a priority to humanitarian partners.

• Humanitarian partners finalized a Preparedness Plan aiming to target 1.98 million people with multisector assistance in Tigray, Afar and Amhara regions. The priority outstanding funding requirements to facilitate the minimum preparedness activities to response to the projected needs between November 2020 and January 2021 is US$ 75.6 million.

SITUATION OVERVIEW

The humanitarian impact of the ongoing conflict between federal and Tigray regional forces is increasing as the days progress. Several hundreds of people are reported displaced in Tigray fleeing conflict. The displaced population has reportedly moved towards Shire and other locations further inland. The Regional Early Warning Directorate and the local NGO REST are currently on location conducting an assessment to estimate the magnitude of the displacement and the extent of humanitarian needs. Results of the assessment will be made public in due course. More displacements are expected.

Similarly, there are reports of people in southern Tigray crossing into Amhara region, as well as people in areas in Amhara bordering Tigray moving further inland away from conflict zones.

On international cross-border movement, Ethiopians crossing the border to Sudan is increasing. The displaced population is mainly crossing through three border entry points at a daily average arrival rate of 4000, including in Hamdayet (over 15,700 people), Lugdi (over 9,500 people) and Abderafi (at least 98 people). As of the time of publication, there were more than 27,000 asylum seekers in Sudan since 10 November, surpassing the UNHCR projection of 20,000 asylum seekers expected to cross in Sudan in one month. The high influx is rapidly overwhelming the response capacity on the ground. The priority needs include shelter, food and water and relocation to safe areas away from the borders. Given the rapidly deteriorating situation UNHCR has decided to declare a Level 2” emergency.

UNHCR Ethiopia has cautioned against fake news/erroneous reporting about the current refugee situation and operation in Tigray mainly on social media and has so far issued two statements. The latest statement reads “we are aware of media reports that UNHCR staff in Ethiopia were arrested and vehicles confiscated in Tigray. These are false. All of our personnel and vehicles in Tigray are accounted for. We urge those using social media to share information responsibly and from corroborated sources only.”

Recent updates from Tigray indicated that significant shortage of cash resulting from bank closure for the past days has impacted households, especially the most vulnerable ones. Phone and internet remain cut, basic services such as health care and clean water, as well as basic commodity supplies such as food and medicine remain interrupted.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.