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UNFPA Ethiopia Response to the Northern Ethiopia crisis - Situation report (1-15 September 2021)

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Three months after the official declaration of a unilateral ceasefire by the Federal Government on June 28, the withdrawal of the Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF) and the control of most of the Tigray Region by the Tigray Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF), the situation in Tigray still remains dire while the spiraling of the conflict into the neighboring Afar and Amhara regions is rapidly worsening the humanitarian situation. According to Afar regional authorities, more than 140,000 people were displaced in the region by the end of August. In Amhara Region, the Disaster Risk Management Office reports that over 233,000 people were recently displaced in Dessie and Kombolcha in South Wello Zone. Despite an increasing deterioration of the humanitarian situation, little assistance is still available to address the basic needs of conflict-affected populations in both regions, mainly due to limited presence of humanitarian partners, restricted or no access to some areas controlled by armed forces, insecurity and lack of resources. According to OCHA, there is an urgent need to scale up the response, including the strengthening of coordination and operational presence on the ground, and technical and financial support1 to the regional authorities leading the response.

In Tigray, the situation remains unpredictable although access within the region is viable and secure in nearly 75%2 of the region, with the exception of the North-Western Zone, Southern Zone and Western Zone bordering Eritrea. According to OCHA, partners continue to report constraints to deliver humanitarian response, particularly due to shortages of cash (0.2% current capacity), fuel (12% capacity) and supplies (3% of capacity) to deliver assistance to the 5.2 million3 people targeted across the region. Operational constraints have led to the suspension of activities such as food distributions, vaccinations for cholera, management of acute malnutrition or livestock feed activities while others remain partially active on the Emergency Shelter and Non-Food Items (ESNFI), WASH, Child Protection and Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM). Humanitarian partners and the Federal Government are in negotiations to facilitate the movement of supplies and personnel to urgently scale-up humanitarian response across Northern Ethiopia.