Ethiopia + 1 more

Northern Ethiopia crisis: Situation Report 1 (11-18 January 2021)


22 million USD requested in Ethiopia under IOM Ethiopia’s Flash Appeal for the Northern Ethiopia Crisis

10.8 million USD requested in Sudan under IOM Sudan’s Flash Appeal for the Northern Ethiopia Crisis

58,045 individuals have fled northern Ethiopia and entered eastern Sudan as of 13 January 2021

Situation overview

After conflict broke out in Ethiopia’s Tigray Regional State between the Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF) and forces linked to the Tigray Regional Security Forces (TRSF) on 4 November 2020, fighting escalated throughout Tigray and beyond, with reports of fire in neighboring Asmara Regional State and into Eritrea. This conflict, coupled with pre-existing humanitarian needs and the COVID-19 pandemic context in northern Ethiopia, has created a concerning, volatile humanitarian situation, as numerous civilians have been displaced within Tigray, into other Ethiopian Regional States, and into neighboring states of Sudan.

Telecommunications, electricity, airspace, and services have slowly been opening up since the Government of Ethiopia declared the end of military operations on 28 November 2020. The situation is gradually improving in the city of Mekelle, where electricity, phone, and some services are partially restored. Banks have begun to reopen, although with long lines and withdrawal restrictions. Shortages of fuel, food, and other key goods continue, along with inflated market prices due to limited and slow resupply. In addition, insecurity concerns continue in Tigray and humanitarian access to the region remains constrained, particularly in and around the city of Shire. As a result, although some humanitarian operations have begun, a comprehensive response in the region has not yet been possible.

Displaced populations continue to arrive in Amhara and Afar from Tigray, although arrival rates have slowed since the beginning of the conflict. Nonetheless, IDP sites are becoming overcrowded and sporadic population movements across regional borders are expected to continue. In Sudan, 58,045 individuals have fled Tigray and entered the Sudanese states of Kassala, Gedaref, and Blue Nile as of 13 January 2021, according to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). About 31 per cent of these refugees are children under the age of 18 and 43 percent overall are women. The largest camp, Um Rakouba, has reached capacity and a second camp, Tunaydbah, was opened on 31 December 2020, as Ethiopians fleeing the conflict continue to arrive in Sudan daily. IOM is present in northern Ethiopia and eastern Sudan, and has been collaborating with other UN agencies and partners on preparedness, initial response, and coordination activities. IOM Ethiopia has released a Flash Appeal for the Northern Ethiopia Crisis, appealing for USD 22 million for November 2020 - January 2021 in line with the Inter-Cluster Coordination Group's Humanitarian Preparedness Plan, and IOM Sudan has released a Flash Appeal for the Northern Ethiopia Crisis appealing for USD 10.8 million for November 2020 - April 2021 in line with the Inter-Agency Refugee Emergency Response Plan for Ethiopian refugees in Sudan.