• Approximately 141,410 people were displaced in Somali region after conflict erupted on 4 August. The conflict led to the exodus of government personnel, leaving essential services significantly understaffed. This in turn created pressing and urgent humanitarian needs for children and women in the region.
• Through UNICEF support, 134,446 people in Gedeo-West Guji received essential and life-saving health care services and 30,579 children under 5 years were treated for Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM).
• The Acute Watery Diarrhea (AWD) situation in the country continues to be of great concern. In Tigray region, 769 AWD cases have been reported between 22 July and 22 August 2018. UNICEF has provided support in C4D, health and WASH in the affected locations.
SITUATION IN NUMBERS
7.9 million* People in need of relief food/cash
350,111* Children in need of treatment for severe acute malnutrition
2.2 million* School-aged children, including adolescents, in need of emergency school feeding and learning material assistance
2.6 million** Internally displaced people in Ethiopia (79 per cent displaced due to conflict)
923,863*** Registered refugees and asylum seekers in Ethiopia.
*2018 Humanitarian and Disaster Resilience Plan for Ethiopia, March 2018
** DTM Ethiopia National Dashboard Round 11, (IOM May-June 2018) and UNOCHA- West Guji/Gedeo Situation Update #7, August 1
*** Ethiopia, refugee and asylum seekers (UNHCR, June 2018)
Situation Overview and Humanitarian Needs
Inter-communal conflict in the Somali and Oromia border regions that started on 4 August in Jijiga and quickly spread to Dagahbur, Warder, Kabridahar, Gode and Babile left approximately 141,410 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. An initial rapid assessment by the Somali regional government and humanitarian actors on 8 and 14 August in Jijiga identified critical needs to be food, WASH, health, and non-food items (NFIs). Despite the vacuum left due to the exodus of essential staff at regional and zonal levels in the Somali Region, the Department of Prevention and Preparedness and regional bureaus worked closely with humanitarian partners to address urgent needs.
A new regional president for the Somali region, Mustafa Muhumed Omer, was officially accepted on 26 August. He will initiate the appointment of new officials. UNICEF has resolved to increase the number of civil society partners through partnership agreements as well as working through private contractors to ensure that the needs of vulnerable women and children are met until essential staff are in place at regional and zonal levels. An internal UNICEF immediate response plan has been drafted to target key IDP and refugee populations in nine priority zones.
The population displaced by violence in West Guji and Gedeo zones stands at 883,337. 1 The government remains committed to a political solution to the conflict and maintains its commitment to relocate IDPs to their places of origin, an exercise that began in early August. The absolute number of returnees is not yet clear - but the government intends to have all IDPs return to their places of origin by 10 September. UNICEF will deliver life-saving assistance to the IDPs in their current locations while scaling up existing services (through established systems) in places of return. As of 24 August, the revised West Guji/Gedeo strategy had an estimated cost of US$ 14,434,638 for a six-month humanitarian response. The funding gap currently is US$ 8,510,661.
A prioritisation exercise in line with the Humanitarian and Disaster Resilience Plan (HDRP) was released by partners on 3rd August seeking US$ 277.5 million to urgently address humanitarian needs in the next three months. Partners identified response priorities and the most-critical funding gaps in the current context. Sectors with the highest needs were food ($70.1m), WASH ($62.5m), NFIs ($53.7m) and nutrition ($45.5m). A mid-year review of the Humanitarian and Disaster Resilience Plan is on-going and will be completed in the first half of September.
In early August 2018, the National Meteorology Agency issued a mid-season weather forecast for the remainder of the 2018 summer kiremt rainy season (August and September). Accordingly, the National Flood Task Force released a revised Flood Alert 2 on 30 August, based on the mid-season forecast. The Alert outlines areas expected to receive heavy rainfall and potential risks of flooding, including overflows of rivers and dams. The updated Alert will inform government’s and partners’ flood mitigation, preparedness and response measures. UNICEF together with other key members of the Task Force will support pre-positioning of immediate life-saving relief items to high-risk areas in accordance with the National Flood Contingency Plan.