In February 2019, UNICEF completed the rehabilitation of 48 water schemes benefiting 114,200 people in Oromia Region and handed over 30 vehicles to the Somali and Afar Regional Health Bureaus to support a longer-term viable and cost-effective system to run Mobile Health and Nutrition Services (MHNS).
Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Gedeb Woreda, Gedeo Zone in Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ (SNNP) Region remain in dire need of humanitarian support with restricted access to the woreda.
Road and security issues posing restrictions on humanitarian response in Dawa Zone of Somali Region and Kamashi Zone of BenishagulGumuz Region have reportedly improved, easing the provision of humanitarian food relief.
Situation Overview and Humanitarian Needs
UNICEF requires US$124.1 million to meet the humanitarian needs of women and children in Ethiopia in 2019. The cost per sector incorporates the needs on the ground, agreed targets, and UNICEF and partner capacities to deliver. The costs reflect an increase in the targeted number of beneficiaries for nutrition and WASH compared with the 2018 Humanitarian Action for Children appeal mostly due to the rising number of IDPs (currently at 2.95 million) and the sub-optimal rainfall, which has affected recovery of the population. The cost of reaching new refugee arrivals is also included. The limited number of operational partners, insecurity, and inaccessibility due to poor infrastructure continue to hamper humanitarian assistance.
The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) has reported the overall national Meher crop production of 2018 as average. Specifically, staple cereal crop production, mainly maize and sorghum, in most Meher-producing areas of Amhara, western Oromia, Beshangul-Gumuz, Gambella, Tigray, and western areas of SNNP regions is estimated to be average following the mostly favourable performance of the June to September 2018 Kiremt rainy season. However, in portions of the eastern lowlands of Oromia, eastern Amhara and southern Tigray, and conflict-affected areas of SNNP and Oromia, Meher production is below average and access to food for most households is constrained. These areas will be in crisis (IPC Phase 31 ) between February and September 2019. Southern parts of SNNP and Oromia, southern and central Afar, northern Somali region of Shinile Zone and major parts of eastern Amhara and south-eastern Tigray will remain stressed (IPC Phase 2) from February to September 2019.
According to the International Organization for Migration Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM), the number of conflictinduced IDPs has increased significantly from the second half of 2018 to beginning of 2019. Since the release of the DTM R14 report, the ongoing violence in Amhara Region has resulted in the displacement of more than 76,481 people (10,000 IDPs estimated to be displaced in February alone), according to United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA).
The majority of IDPs (some 60,000) are displaced in Central and West Gondar zones of the Amhara Region and about 70 per cent of the IDPs in the region are living with host communities with the remainder living in temporary, sub-standard settlements requiring shelter and support with non-food items. The risk of outbreak of communicable diseases is also very high given the shortage of safe drinking water reported in most collective sites, the poor personal hygiene, lack of latrine management and open defecation, coupled with the poor nutritional status of the population and the sub-standard shelter conditions. So far, the National Disaster Risk Management Commission (NDRMC) has dispatched initial relief food supplies to affected communities and has assigned a dedicated staff to monitor the situation.
According to UNOCHA, the humanitarian response in the Dawa Zone of the Somali Region, restricted for a year due to poor road access and security concerns, is reportedly improving with food deliveries reaching the area. Similar progress is reported in Kamashi Zone in Benishangul-Gumuz Region, which humanitarian partners were unable to access for five months. However, growing access constraints have been reported in Gedeb Woreda of SNNP Region, which has restricted humanitarian assistance to the displaced communities. Without much-needed humanitarian assistance, IDPs in the woreda face substantial risks of disease due to crowded and sub-standard living conditions and inadequate access to water and sanitation.
On 12 February 2019, the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany and UNICEF handed over 30 vehicles to the Afar and Somali Regional Health Bureaus for the provision of Mobile Health and Nutrition Services (MHNS) for children. The Somali Region received 19 vehicles and 11 went to Afar. These vehicles will be used by Mobile Health and Nutrition Teams (MHNT) in the two regions to reach children in remote and hard-to-reach areas with essential lifesaving services. It is expected that the cost of running the teams will also be significantly reduced as resources will be saved from vehicle rental costs.
The DTM for South Sudan reports movements of South Sudanese refugees from Itang Refugee Camp in the Gambella Region to Jekawo, Pagak, Burebey, Maiwod and Nassir areas in the Upper Nile State, South Sudan.