UNICEF continues to provide over 3.5 million people with access to safe water supply through rehabilitation and expansion of existing water schemes and water trucking across the country.
Over 906,242 children under five in Tigray have been screened for malnutrition since January, of which 18,617 children under five have received SAM treatment.
In August, UNICEF reached 229 children (144 girls and 85 boys) who experienced violence with medical, social and legal services in Amhara, Benishangul-Gumuz, Gambella (for refugee children), Oromia, Somali and Southern Nations Nationalities and People’s Region (SNNPR).
Since the start of the conflict in Tigray, UNICEF has provided psychosocial support to a total of 40,180 children and their caregivers across the conflict-affected northern regions.
UNICEF continues to provide education assistance for internally displaced and emergency-affected out-of-school age children in collaboration with the Ministry of Education (MoE), Regional Education Bureaus (REBs) and NGO partners. A total of 142,008 children (48 per cent girls) have been reached through the provision of formal or non-formal education emergency-affected regions, including 17,549 children (49 per cent girls) receiving ‘Bete (My Home)’ integrated education and child protection services in Tigray.
Out of a total revised funding requirement of over US$ 248.3 million, there remains a significant funding gap of US$128 million. UNICEF strongly appeals to donors to address the critical gap, which unless filled, will prevent life-saving humanitarian assistance for over four million displaced children, women and men and affected communities across the country, most critically in areas where conflict, inter-communal violence, food insecurity and lack of protection are severely disrupting access to basic services and any measure of safety and well-being.
Situation Overview and Humanitarian Needs
Across the country UNICEF and partners are witnessing a rapid increase in admissions among children under 5 who are suffering from severe acute malnutrition. Over 40,000 more children have been admitted for treatment as compared to the same period of 2020: this shows a 20 per cent increase, with higher rates notably in regions witnessing conflicts and displacements. In Tigray, 18,600 children have been admitted from February to August this year compared to 8,900 in 2020 (SAM admissions excess of 100 per cent increase). In Afar region, as of July, admissions increased by 17 per cent.
Based on a recent OCHA report, poor agricultural yields are expected in Tigray as only 320,000 hectares of farmland have been cultivated out of the 1.3 million hectares as most farmers only had a narrow window during the planting season. In addition, desert locusts were reported in 19 woredas in South Eastern and Central Zones with a high risk for hatching. According to IPC analysis, an estimated 5.5 million people in Tigray and neighbouring regions of Afar and Amhara are facing high levels of acute food insecurity. A total of 3.1 million people are in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and 2.1 million people in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) and over 350,000 people in Catastrophic situation (IPC Phase 5). Despite efforts of humanitarian aid, the nutrition situation is expected to worsen through September 2021.
According to the Afar Regional Disaster Prevention and Food Security Program Coordination Office (DPFSPCO), by the end of August 2021, over 140,000 people were displaced in Afar due to the cross-border expansion of the conflict from Tigray. This is in addition to the 50,000 IDPs that fled in the earlier phase of the conflict in November 2020 and who have not returned since then. Another 257,000 people living in 10 woredas bordering Tigray have been affected by the conflict while an additional 500,000 people in three zones of Awsi, Kilbati, and Fanti are at high risk of displacement if fighting continues. Similarly, armed clashes between the Afar and Issa ethnic groups in the southern part of the region has cumulatively displaced over 39,000 people. With the multiple emergencies simultaneously occurring in Afar region, including the aforementioned armed conflicts, as well as flood hazards, protracted drought, acute food insecurity and COVID-19, the Afar Regional Disaster Prevention and Food Security Program Coordination Office (DPFSPCO) has proposed to designate all 39 woredas of the Afar region as hotspot priority one woredas.
The humanitarian situation in Amhara region is deteriorating due to the increasing needs of existing IDPs and a new wave of IDPs as a result of the escalating conflict in Tigray. According to the regional Disaster Risk Management (DRM), in addition to the 878,261 protracted IDPs in North Showa and Awi zones, the Tigray conflict alone has displaced a total of 774,492 people in North Wollo, North Gondar, South Wollo and Wag Humira zones. The region is hosting over 700,000 IDPs in nine zones, including over one million IDPs in host communities. The ongoing conflict has severely affected agricultural production and interrupted basic social services. Flooding has also been reported in East Dambia and Libo-Kemkem woredas. An assessment conducted by the RHB identified damaged health facilities (22 hospitals, 233 health centers, over 1000 health posts and 29 Ambulances) which poses serious burden onthe health system is heavily overburdened and essential service provision is seriously affected. In conflict affected areas (7 zones and 62 woredas) and estimated 635,000 outpatient visits, 7,500 pregnant women, 15,233 vaccination target children and 33,000 people with chronic illnesses have not been able to access lifesaving medical services and regular follow-up.
The security situation in Metekel and Kamashi zones in Benishangul-Gumuz region remains fragile and unpredictable; road access to Bullen, Guba, Wombera and Dibati woredas in Metekel zone and all five-conflict affected woredas (Sedal,
Yasso, Agalomiti, Kamashi and Mijiga) of Kamashi zone is still restricted. As of late August, a total of 361,775 people have been displaced out of whom an estimated 230,054 IDPs are in hard to reach areas. Out of the total displaced population, 56,880 are reported to be children under five years of age and 19,881 are pregnant and lactating women.
Furthermore, during the reporting period, approximately 2,000 IDPs settled in Oda woreda from a neighboring woreda in Kamashi zone. Compounding the difficulties in the region is the lack of functional health care facilities and thus dearth of essential health and nutrition services for emergency affected populations.
In Gambella, as a result of flooding that occurred in July, a total of 794 households (3,850 individuals) were displaced in Lare woreda as reported by the Disaster Prevention and Food Security Agency (DPFSA). Those affected remained displaced in host communities and schools in August, among the affected population 765 under five children, 2567 under 18, and 310 pregnant and lactating women are reported. Additionally, over 250 maize farms were flooded, carrying long term food insecurity consequences for families whose lives and livelihoods depended on these farms.
While Malaria and Diarrhoea are the main diseases reported from displacement site, UNICEF and WHO, in collaboration with partners are responding with humanitarian aid. The flood has affected the population in Pagak, but no significant impact has so far been reported.
Conflict and inter-communal clashes have obstructed access to and delivery of humanitarian response in Guji, West Guji, Kelem and Horoguduru, as well as East and West Wellega Zones of Oromia. The volatile situation poses as a challenge to back-to-learning campaigns and children’s enrolment for the upcoming school year.
As of 31 August 2021, a total of 308,134 COVID-19 confirmed cases and 4,675 deaths (case fatality rate (CFR) = 1.52%) were reported since the onset of outbreak in March 2020. A total of 276,842 (90 per cent) patients have recovered.
There was an increased trend of confirmed cases (three-fold), positivity rate, severe cases and deaths observed in August 2021, which suggests the country is in the third wave of COVID-19 pandemic. Since the initial outbreak, the highest recorded daily cases (2,095) and the highest daily positivity rate (20.9 per cent) were reported on 25 August and 27 August respectively 2021.
Out of the total cases in the country, Addis Ababa has reported the highest number with 206,449 COVID-19 positive cases. This is followed by Oromia and Amhara with 41,195 and 12,255 cases, respectively. Due to current conflict in Tigray, no new COVID-19 cases have been reported by the region nor neighbouring woredas in Amhara (North Wollo,
Waghimera, part of South Gondor and Part of North Gondor zones) and Afar (zone 4 and zone 2) region since July 2021.
A total of 6,745,590 COVID-19 vaccines have been received while 6,957,760 doses are in pipeline. So far, over 2.4 million people have been vaccinated of which 431,821 people have received full dose.