UNHCR delivers lifesaving assistance to respond to the increased Eritrean influx following the reopening of the border between Ethiopia and Eritrea.
Ethiopia is experiencing an increase in the number of internally displaced people. In total, over 2.8 million people in Ethiopia are currently internally displaced.
UNHCR enhances registration data and has frozen refugee figures as of 31 August 2018.
Hence all figures in this Operation Update are as of August 2018.
UNHCR delivers lifesaving aid to respond to the increased Eritrean influx
Following the Joint Declaration of Peace and Friendship, signed on 9 July 2018 by the governments of Ethiopia and Eritrea, two border crossing points were reopened on 11 September 2018 – the Ethiopian New Year. The reopening has resulted in a significant increase in the number of new arrivals from Eritrea, with the average daily rate of arrivals increasing from 53 to approximately 390 individuals.
Between 12 September and 02 October 2018, a total of 6,779 refugees were registered at the Endabaguna Reception Centre with a further 2,725 others at the border points awaiting relocation to Endabaguna.
Working with humanitarian partners on the ground, UNHCR and ARRA are coordinating the delivery of lifesaving assistance to the new arrivals, including food, shelter, water and health and sanitation. Essential aid items have been despatched from Addis Ababa for immediate distribution to registered refugees. Additional health and shelter experts are being deployed to the area to support the response.
Change in Eritrean influx demographics Women and children constitute approximately 90% of the new arrivals, in contrast with the current population profile of the Eritrean camps in Tigray, where young men were the majority.
The changing profile is attributed to the reopening of border crossing points, which has facilitated easy transit and safe travel for women and children. Registration data indicates that, in addition to the standard reasons for leaving Eritrea such as involuntary open-ended military conscription and human rights violations, family reunification is cited as an additional motive for movement by 83% of the newly registered.