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Ethiopia: COVID-19 Humanitarian impact - Situation Update No. 9, As of 25 July 2020

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This report is prepared under the auspices of the National Emergency Coordination Center for COVID-19 response, led by the National Disaster Risk Management Commission (NDRMC), supported by OCHA Ethiopia with participation of Cluster Coordinators. This issue covers the period from 14 - 25 July 2020.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • As of 25 July, Ethiopia reported 13,248 confirmed COVID-19 cases compared to 7,969 on 13 July. The cumulative number of recoveries has reached 5,966, while the number of deaths has increased to 209. Cases have increased exponentially in the last two weeks, with Addis Ababa counting a total of 9,274 cases. (Source: MoH/Ethiopia Public Health Institute, EPHI).

  • The recent conflicts in Oromia displaced more than 9,000 people. NDRMC and the Ethiopian Red Cross supported the displaced people with food and NFI. The protests also impacted humanitarian operations consequently affecting food deliveries and critical operations, including COVID-19 activities. Testing for COVID-19 had also decreased dramatically during the unrest, and contact tracing was also disrupted. Two trucks transporting food were looted in Shashamane, while in three other separate incidents, NGOs trapped in violence suffered damages on their vehicles and compounds in southern Oromia. The lack of internet, compounded by COVID-19-related measures, has significantly impacted coordination activities in the country.

  • On 20 July, the first confirmed case of COVID-19 was reported in Bule Hora. The local authorities have traced and tested a total of 84 contacts so far.

  • Government and partners are scaling-up COVID-19 risk communication and community engagement (RCCE) interventions, including information dissemination on the impact of COVID-19. IOM alone reached over 1.35 million individuals with hygiene awareness promotion through door to door sensitizations, mass mobilization, sensitization during distributions, radio spots and leaflet distributions.

  • The Government of Ethiopia, with the support of UNICEF and partners, reached approximately 5.2 million children throughout the country via distance learning programs.

  • At the ECC meeting on 22 July, the Government re-called on partners to scale up efforts. Each cluster is to prepare an action plan to address the key recommendations of the multi-sector assessment of quarantine centers and points of entries conducted in seven regions and Dire Dawa city administration from 15-20 June.

  • On 22 July, FAO launched a program to safeguard and restore the livelihoods of pastoralist, agro-pastoralist, and farming communities affected by desert locusts in Ethiopia. More than 70,000 households in Afar, Amhara, Somali, SNNP, Tigray and Oromia regions will benefit from agricultural inputs, unconditional cash transfers as well as training and agricultural extension program support. The interventions will assist the targeted households to cope with the impacts of desert locust-induced damage on crops, livestock, as well as the current economic hardships resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • The Government of Ethiopia imposed mandatory mask-wearing as part of its COVID-19 prevention and control measures. However, some negligent behaviors had been observed amongst the citizens over the past few weeks, including social gatherings and people not wearing masks in public spaces. Last week, the police started to enforce mask-wearing on residents in Addis Ababa.

  • According to IOM, at least 14,500 Ethiopian migrants are estimated to be stranded in Yemen without access to basic services such as health care and clean water due to border security. Their living conditions are dire and they are at greater risk of exposure to COVID-19. Source: https://reliefweb.int/node/3652795/.

  • The Board of Directors of the African Development Fund (ADF) approved a grant of US$165.08 million to support Ethiopia’s response to the health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, including help to ease fiscal pressures on the economy. The grant will help bolster Ethiopia’s COVID-19 National Emergency Response Plan (NERP).

  • The first progress report of the Global Humanitarian Response Plan (GHRP) for COVID-19 was released on 1 July with a requirement of $7.32 billion. As of 16 July, the funding requirements for COVID-19 response have risen to $10.26 billion out of which $506 million is allotted to Ethiopia. As of 25 July, $1.87 billion (18 per cent) has been funded. For further updates: https://fts.unocha.org/appeals/952/summary and for GHRP July update https://reliefweb.int/node/3653855/

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs: To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.