The first Northern Ethiopia Response Plan was released in May 2021 to address the increased humanitarian needs which arose in the Tigray region after conflict broke out on 4 November 2020 between Tigray Regional Forces and Ethiopia National Defence Forces (ENDF). This updated Response Plan is based on the changes in context and increased humanitarian needs since May 2021, and to ensure the ongoing response is adapted to meet the evolving needs. This revised Northern Ethiopia Response Plan covers the clusters’ actual and planned response in the Tigray region, including the Western zone, for the months May to December 2021.
As the conflict has entered its eleventh month, the estimated number of people in need of assistance is 5.2 million people, all of which are targeted in this Response Plan. On 28 April 2021, the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Principals designated a humanitarian system-wide scale-up for northern Ethiopia, designed to enhance the humanitarian response in relation to increasing humanitarian needs and to ensure that resources and capacity are available to rapidly respond to the emerging situation and level of needs within the conflict affected population. As part of the IASC system-wide scale-up, an Operational Peer Review mission was conducted in September 2021 to assess the challenges and opportunities to further strengthen the coordination of the humanitarian response.
In the beginning of July 2021, fighting expanded into the neighbouring Amhara and Afar regions. Humanitarian partners are scaling up their response to support thousands of displaced people in these regions and efforts are underway to reach people behind the frontlines and in hard-to-reach areas within the Tigray region. Since the Northern Ethiopia Response Plan was released in May 2021, it has served as the guiding document for partners in responding to the growing humanitarian needs within Tigray region, tracking delivery against targets and as the benchmark against which emerging needs are determined. The current revised Response Plan continues to cover the needs in Tigray region, including Western zone. The Mid-Year Review of the 2021 Humanitarian Response Plan for Ethiopia covers the rest of Ethiopia (outside Tigray) as of early August 2021. As such, some of the growing needs in Afar and Amhara regions as a result of the spill-over of the Tigray conflict are reflected in the Mid-Year Review of the Humanitarian Response Plan for Ethiopia for 2021, although the extent of those needs are still being determined in view of ongoing fighting and insecurity in some of those areas.