The revision of the Inter-Agency refugee emergency response plan – Sudan: Refugee influx from Ethiopia, launched on 25 November 2020, expands the time frame of the initial plan to 31 December 2021, includes the flood preparedness and response and incorporates the refugee response for Ethiopian asylum seekers in Blue Nile.
Humanitarian partners of the emergency refugee response plan have re-prioritized their initial financial requirements and request additional USD 33 million to provide assistance to the influx of Ethiopian refugees until the end of the 2021.
Situation in Ethiopia
The tension between the Federal and Tigray regional governments culminated in the military confrontations that started on 04 November and prompted the Prime Minister to declare a State of Emergency in Tigray. Armed clashes between the Ethiopian Defense Force (EDF) and Tigray Regional Security Forces (TRSF) that were initially confined to the Western Tigray area, have then moved towards the region’s eastern and southern parts. The humanitarian impact increased as the situation deteriorated. For for several months now, roads have been blocked and electricity, phone and internet have been entirely or partially cut throughout the region, making communication nearly impossible. There is a shortage of fuel and banking services have halted resulting in a lack of access to cash.
Tigray The conflict in the Tigray region in North-western Ethiopia between federal and regional forces started in November 2020 and has affected most of the region. It has resulted in widespread displacement across the region and has had an extensive impact on humanitarian needs. The conflict area remains reportedly affected by incidents of armed conflict and continued displacement, with potential spill over into Sudan.
The population in the Tigray region of Ethiopia accounts for approximately 600,000 people dependent on food relief assistance (more than 400,000 food insecure, 100,000 IDPs and 95,929 Eritrean refugees). It is expected that the situation has deteriorated significantly since the onset of the crisis and refugees will continue to try moving to Sudan.
Benishangul-Gumuz A further manifestation of the political crisis in Ethiopia is persistent violence and instability in the BenishangulGumuz region where thousands of people have been displaced in the past months. In a recent move, the ruling party in Benishangul sanctioned some of its officials and held them accountable for not acting in their official capacity to avert the attack against innocent civilians in three districts in Metekel zone. Since late 2020, the situation in Metekel has been dire. Daily attacks on civilians resulting in displacement are reported. As a result, thousands of Ethiopians have crossed the border into the Blue Nile and Gedaref region of Sudan. While the majority of the population is of Gumuz ethnicity, up to seven different ethnic groups have been identified so far.