Over one month after the declaration of a unilateral ceasefire by the Federal Government on June 28, followed by the pull out of Ethiopian Defense Forces and control of most of the Tigray Region by the Tigray Peoples’ Liberation Front (TPLF), the situation remains highly unpredictable and uncertain across Northern Ethiopian. Although humanitarian partners now have more access within Tigray - 75% of the needy population is now in accessible areas, according to OCHA- the response continues to take place amid ongoing movement restrictions in and out of the region, especially due to active conflicts in the areas of the region bordering with neighboring Afar and Amhara regions.
Meanwhile, the spill-over of the Tigray conflict into Afar and Amhara regions continues to increase the number of internally-displaced persons (IDPs) – with more than 76,000 people displaced in six bordering woredas in Afar region and more than 188,000 people displaced around Debark, Sekota and Woldiya woredas in Amhara region, according to regional authorities. Despite this huge challenge, partners have a limited humanitarian relief presence in the conflict-affected areas, with no cluster capacity at regional level. The response scale-up continues to be hindered due to persistent restricted access by road and air, blackout of communication services, interruption of banking services with a consequent shortage of cash, and limited availability of critical supplies throughout the region, including fuel. Partners’ capacity to rotate personnel and restock humanitarian supplies to sustain operations is highly compromised to address the current needs of 5.2 million people in need. In the face of increasing conflict and difficulty in getting aid to Northern Ethiopia, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mr. Martin Griffiths, said in a press statement that “we need to change the circumstances that have led to the slow movement of aid – we need the conflict to stop.”