▪ On 7 April, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi cited the scaling up of humanitarian operations in Tigray as access widens. The High Commissioner stressed that efforts “must be accelerated, as large numbers of displaced people keeping arriving in urban areas – 350,000 in Shire town alone – and thousands of Eritrean refugees are still dispersed.”
▪ On 18 March, UNHCR and partners were able to access Shimelba and Hitsats refugee camps for the first time since November 2020. The mission confirmed the destruction of all infrastructure and the absence of refugees in the two camps. The mission was able to briefly visit Sheraro where they received reports of both IDPs and refugees in and around the town. A follow-up mission to Sheraro is planned.
▪ Approximately 62,500 Ethiopian refugees have been recorded crossing into East Sudan as of 5 April. Some 41,000 refugees have been relocated to Um Rakuba camp (20,572) and Tunaydbah settlement (20,609). Overall population statistics are subject to revision pending additional verification of the remaining refugee population at Hamdayet.
▪ Discussions are ongoing between UNHCR and local authorities on the resumption of relocation to Tunaydbah settlement, which has been on hold since 24 February due to several factors.
▪ UNHCR and WFP have started joint rehabilitation of 56k of roads serving Um Rakuba and Tunadybah as well as extensive drainage works as part of flood mitigation activities ahead of the rainy season.