Ethiopia + 3 more

UNHCR Regional Update #5: Ethiopia Situation (Tigray Region), 28 November - 3 December 2020


Key Developments


▪ The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi was in Sudan from 26-29 November to meet with government officials, local authorities, donors, partners and newly arriving refugees during his visit to Khartoum, Hamdayet transit centre and Um Rakuba camp. He commended the government for keeping the border open to receive the refugees from Ethiopia and called on the international community to support Sudan in the response.

▪ As of 2 December, 46,412 Ethiopian refugees have arrived in eastern Sudan. A small number of Eritrean refugees have also arrived from the Tigray region in recent days.

▪ During his mission, the Inter-Agency Refugee Emergency Response Plan - Ethiopia Influx was launched. The plan calls for US147 million for 30 partners to support up to 100,000 refugees from November 2020 thru June 20201. As the situation evolves, the plan will be revised as needed in the first half of 2021.

▪ Three airlifts of emergency relief supplies from UNHCR’s global stockpiles in the UAE and Nairobi have arrived in Khartoum carrying family tents, blankets, solar lamps, mosquito nets, plastic sheets, and prefabricated warehouses. Many of these items have already been received in Um Rakuba. Additional flights are in the pipeline.

▪ During his engagements with press during the visit, the High Commissioner noted that UNHCR has continued to appeal jointly with other humanitarian agencies for access in Tigray. He also recognized the longstanding hospitality of the Ethiopian government towards refugees and urged them to uphold its international obligations to protect refugees being hosted in Tigray.


▪ Conditions at the Eritrean refugee camps in the Tigray region cannot be verified due to the enduring communication and access restrictions. With the current situation in Tigray now lasting nearly a month, it is likely that all basic services, including food, water and health care are drastically affected with supplies running out.

▪ On 2 December it was announced the UN in Ethiopia and the Federal Government have signed an agreement that seeks to enable humanitarians to have unimpeded, sustained and secure access for humanitarian personnel and services to areas under the control of the Federal Government in the Tigray Region and the bordering areas of the Amhara and Afar regions within an overall coordination framework.

▪ Concurrent to the signature of the agreement, UNHCR and WFP are in discussion with the government counterpart, ARRA, on the logistics, distribution modalities and security aspects of conducting a food distribution at the four Eritrean refugee camps in Tigray. WFP has already prepositioned the urgently needed food assistance.