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Ethiopia: Tigray Region Humanitarian Update - Situation Report No. 4 (20 November 2020)

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Ethiopia
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OCHA
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This report is produced by OCHA Ethiopia and covers the period from 17 to 20 November 2020. The next report will be issued on Tuesday, 24 November

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Humanitarian access and telecommunications remain a challenge in most parts of Tigray region, making it difficult to assess the full extent of the impact of the ongoing conflict on the population and the security of humanitarian workers.

  • Humanitarian actors in Tigray region have reported a shortage of food, fuel and cash. About 96,000 refugees risk lack of access to water due to a looming shortage of fuel to run water pumps.

  • The Federal government is in the process of activating a humanitarian coordination mechanism to provide lifesaving assistance to affected population in Tigray, Afar and Amhara. The Ministry of Peace will be leading this with the National Disaster Risk Management Commission (NDRMC) and the Agency for Refugee and Returnee Affairs (ARRA).

  • In Sudan, humanitarian actors have raised concern over the increased influx of Ethiopians into eastern Sudan, where more than 31,000 new arrivals have been registered as of 19 November.

  • The protection of civilians impacted by the conflict remains an overarching humanitarian concern.

600,000
Pre-conflict relief food beneficiaries

1M
PSNP clients

100,000
Pre-conflict IDPs

96,000
Refugees

1.1M
Projected additional people needing assistance due the conflict (in Tigray,
Amhara, and Afar)

SITUATION OVERVIEW

Fighting between Federal and Tigray regional forces in Ethiopia has reportedly moved towards densely populated areas in eastern Tigray. Fighting has also been reported around Shire, where thousands of refugees live, and where humanitarian actors have their main operational bases for the refugee operation.

Access to the affected areas remains a challenge due to insecurity. Telecommunication channels remain down, road and air access closed, and banks only providing minimum services, hampering movement of personnel and supplies into the region and within the region.

Humanitarian partners in Tigray continue to warn that available stocks - including food and medical supplies - will soon be exhausted, putting millions at risk of food insecurity, malnutrition, and health risk, amongst others. Nearly two million people need life-saving support, including food, water, shelter, health, and protection services. According to ICRC, health care facilities in Tigray and Amhara already urgently need medical supplies and support to care for the influx of wounded. Ethiopian Red Cross Society (ERCS) has transported people injured in areas affected by clashes, while more than 1,000 people have contacted the ICRC's hotline and visited its office in Mekelle and Addis Ababa looking for help to reach their families.

The Tigray Regional Emergency Coordination Center has just finalized the revision of its Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan. The plan estimates that over 1 million people will be displaced by the conflict and will need lifesaving humanitarian assistance. The plan also recognizes existence of other vulnerable population in the region, including refugees, returnees and PSNP clients.

Population displacement has been reported from Western Tigray- most displaced people fleeing to Sudan. As of 20 November, UNHCR Sudan reports the arrival of over 31,000 asylum seekers from Ethiopia. Other large number of IDPs has been reported in Shire areas but numbers are still not confirmed. The IOM managed Displacement Tracking Mechanism is working to verify these numbers. Some 800 IDPs are currently displaced in Addi Adekay district, North Gondar zone, Amhara region due to the conflict (displaced from Medebey Zana district, Tigray region), while IDPs who had arrived from Alamata Town (Tigray region) in Kobo district, North Wollo, Amhara region reportedly returned to their places of origin after the Ethiopian National Defense Forces reportedly took control of these areas. New IDPs were also reported in Midre Genet district, West Gonder zone, Amhara region and Dalul district, Kilbati zone, Afar region.

Humanitarian partners in Ethiopia are further concerned about the increasing report of violence in Oromia and Southern Nations Nationalities and Peoples (SNNP) regions. Violent incidents involving unidentified armed groups have been reported on an almost daily basis, mainly in the Western Oromia region, while several thousand people were reportedly displaced by inter-communal violence in Konso zone, SNNPR on 16 November.

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