The IFRC, on behalf of the Ethiopian Red Cross, Sudanese Red Crescent, and Djibouti Red Crescent would like to thank all partners that have contributed to the Federation Wide Emergency Appeal: American Red Cross, British Red Cross, Canadian Red Cross, Japanese Red Cross, Monaco Red Cross, Netherlands Red Cross (and Netherlands Government), Swedish Red Cross, Turkish Red Crescent, and the Lithuanian Government, Additionally, we would like to thank all those which have provided bilateral support: Austrian Red Cross, Danish Red Cross, Finnish Red Cross, German Red Cross, Italian Red Cross, Netherlands Red Cross, Qatar Red Crescent, Swiss Red Cross, and USAID/OFDA.
To date, this Emergency Appeal, which seeks CHF 27,000,000, is 40% funded. Further funding contributions are very urgently needed to enable the National Societies in Ethiopia, Sudan, and Djibouti, with the support of the IFRC and its members, to continue to provide humanitarian assistance and protection to people affected by Ethiopia Crisis.
Approximately 175,000 people (35,000 households) affected by the Ethiopia Crisis have been reached with support thanks to the collective action undertaken through this Emergency Appeal.
A. SITUATION ANALYSIS
Description of the crisis
The situation in northern Ethiopia continues to be highly fluid and unpredictable. The violence continues to increase humanitarian needs due to displacement, loss of livelihoods, and lack of access to markets, food, and basic services. The political dynamics across the region changed notably on 28 June 2022 following the unilateral declaration of ceasefire by the Federal Government with the subsequent withdrawal of the defense forces from Tigray. However, the escalation from July 2021 onwards, saw violence spiral into the neighbouring regions of Afar and Amhara causing a large-scale upsurge in displacement and aggravating the humanitarian situation. Since December 2021, the situation has stabilized, with a de-escalation of violence, and the withdrawal of Tigrayan forces from most areas of the Afar and Amhara regions.
According to OCHA, approximately 9.4 million people remain in need of humanitarian assistance, with Essential Household Items (EHI), Food, Health, Protection, Shelter and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) have been found the major inter-sectoral gaps/critical needs. Additionally, early recovery needs are enormous since basic social amenities have been destroyed including health facilities, water points, and livelihood assets.
According to UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and Sudan’s Government Commissioner for Refugees (COR), more than 58,000 people have crossed into neighbouring Sudan since the onset of the crisis, seeking safety, predominantly in the Blue Nile, Gedaref, and Kassala states. Gradually, those arriving from Ethiopia have been relocated to the three main camps in Gedaref, namely, Babikiri, Tunaydibah, and Um Rakuba.
The Ethiopian refugee situation occurred in midst of a political transition and crisis in Sudan, including the formation of a transitional government in 2020, and its then subsequent dissolution by the military in October 2021, which has threatened the fragile stability in the country. Following the military takeover, the magnitude of protests and demonstrations have escalated and created complete paralysis in services daily life, and weekly working days have been reduced to four days a week, due to the closure of bridges, blocking of roads, and shutdown of internet services. Closure of main seaports and highways has led to shortages of imported supplies while exacerbating increased inflation rates, with 30% increment rises for basic services such as electricity and water.
The political situation, combined with an economic crisis that has resulted in soaring inflation rates, impacts of COVID-19, and widespread flooding in 2020 and 2021, has had a spillover effect on the population. Although activities by humanitarian stakeholders to support refugees in the camps have continued, the precarious nature of the situation, and disruptions it continues to cause in terms of available good, supplies, and basic services, has severely hindered their efforts. Consequently, the overall needs in Sudan have continued to grow with the Sudan Humanitarian Coordination Team indicating that the number of people in need is at the highest in 10 years.
Djibouti sits at the crossroads of one of the most transited migration routes in the world, with thousands of people moving across along the “Eastern Route” towards Yemen, as well as acting as a point for asylum for people from Ethiopia and Somalia.
This combined with the porous border, as well as the social economic connection between Djibouti and Ethiopia, raised the possibility that the crisis could lead to an influx of people, similar, to the numbers in Sudan. However, this has not transpired, and there has only been a modest number of people that have crossed, which have been settled in Hol-Hol camp.