Ethiopia + 3 more

UNHCR Regional Update #9: Ethiopia Situation (Tigray Region), 24 December 2020 - 12 January 2021

Situation Report
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Key Developments


  • Nearly 57,500 Ethiopian refugees have crossed into East Sudan as of 12 January. Many are arriving with little more than the clothes on their backs, fatigued and in weak conditions after sometimes days of travel, reporting ongoing insecurity and violence in Tigray.

  • With Um Rakuba camp reaching its current capacity, in the first week of January UNHCR and partners have relocated nearly 5,000 refugees from Village 8 and Hamdayet reception sites at the border to Tunaydbah, a second, newly established refugee settlement site. Clashes occurring over disputed territory along the Sudan-Ethiopia border have prompted an acceleration of relocation efforts away from the border.


  • A UNHCR led inter-agency multisectoral assessment mission to Gondar (Amhara region) and two of the four Eritrean refugee camps – Mai Aini and Aidi Harush – took place from 4 to 9 January. Refugees at both camps noted that service provision had completely ceased during the conflict and they remain particularly concerned about their safety and security, reporting ongoing looting in the camp at night by armed groups/persons.

  • UNHCR and partners remain without access to Shimelba and Hitsats Eritrean refugee camps near Shire for two months, during which no humanitarian services have been provided. There are reports of ongoing insecurity and additional destruction at the camps in the first week of January.

  • The initial findings of two assessment missions carried out by humanitarian partners jointly with the government in late December to south-eastern Tigray and western Tigray indicate a dire humanitarian situation throughout the region, with widespread internal displacement and poor access to services and limited livelihoods as well as urgent needs for shelter, food, non-food items, water, sanitation and hygiene, and provision of health and protection services.