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Ethiopia - Northern Ethiopia Humanitarian Update Situation Report, 7 Apr 2022

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  • Only 8 per cent of cash needs transferred to Tigray for humanitarian operations since 12 July 2021.

  • To date, about 15,000 people have been relocated to Sabacare 4 displacement site in Mekelle, reaching its full capacity.

  • 245 schools in Afar remain closed, or 20 percent of the schools in the region, forcing more than 53,000 students out of school. Additional 5 schools are hosting displaced people.

  • An additional 10 mobile health and nutrition teams were deployed to Amhara to scale-up the response, bringing the total number of teams operating in the region to 88.

  • 30 mobile health and nutrition teams are operating in conflict affected areas in Afar, reaching more than 8,000 people with health care during the week.


Situation Overview

The overall situation in northern Ethiopia remains fragile and unpredictable. In Tigray and Amhara regions, the situation remained generally calm with static lines of contact, while armed clashes were reported in Gubi kebele, Ab’ala woreda and in Koneba town, in Kilbet/Zone 2 in Afar Region on 30 March. No significant incidents were reported in Afar since then and access has improved in most parts of the region. As the situation remains unstable, it is not yet conducive for the returns of internally displaced people (IDPs) to their area of origin in Afar.

On 1 and 2 April, the first humanitarian convoy since mid-December arrived in the Tigray Region via the Semera-Abala-Mekelle route. The 20 trucks’ convoy included 670 metric tons (MT) of food and nutrition supplies and one fuel tanker of 47,000 liters, the first fuel delivery to enter Tigray in eight months. It is estimated that 200,000 liters of fuel is required every week to carry out humanitarian operations at scale in the region. Simultaneously, a convoy carrying over 1,000 MT of food arrived in northern Afar to deliver assistance to communities in dire need in Berhale, Dallol, and Koneba woredas.

Concomitantly, between 29 March and 4 April, humanitarian partners airlifted 76 metric tons (MT) of nutrition supplies to Mekelle, Tigray. As of 4 April, the total amount of medical and nutrition supplies airlifted since the first cargo flight on 24 January and is about 438 MT, equivalent to only 11 trucks of humanitarian supplies. The airlifts remain limited to low quantities between 5 and 13 MT per flight and are prioritized according to the most urgent supplies, therefore cannot fill in the significant gap between the needs on the ground and the supplies delivered.

The UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) continues to operate two flights per week between Addis Ababa and Mekelle in Tigray, allowing for the rotation of staff and transfer of cash. From 31 March to 5 April, 36 partners transferred 87 million Ethiopian Birr (ETB), or approximately $US1.7 million in cash. The amount of cash allowed, however, remains below the cash needed to support operations and programs and to provide a meaningful response at the required scale. Partners estimate that ETB 300 million, equivalent to US$ 6 million, is required per week, however, only ETB 1.3 billion (approximately $26.5 million) has entered the region since 12 July, or 8 per cent of cash needs for humanitarian operations.

In Tigray, no school feeding was reported during the week due to lack of food stocks. It is reported that 80 schools in 13 woredas are closed, and an additional 641 schools are at risk of closure due to insufficient or absence of school feeding programs, lack of food for teachers, lack of learning materials, and insecurity. An estimated 1.4 million children, of which half of them girls, are entering their third year without access to learning in the region, while more than 144,000 primary school students and 25,000 children accessing alternative learning programmes are at risk of dropping out of school. More than 46,000 teachers across the region require immediate life-saving multi-purpose cash and food assistance to keep the remaining schools open.

In Afar, 245 schools in conflict affected areas remain closed, out of the 1,195 schools in the region, forcing more than 53,000 students, of which 42 per cent are girls, out of school. In addition, five schools are currently occupied by internally displaced people (IDPs) in Afar. In Amhara, more than 558 schools remain closed in Wag Hamra, North Gondar and North Wello zones due to security concerns affecting 266,000 students. In addition, 97 schools are still occupied by IDPs and armed forces. There are 9,889 schools in Amhara. It is estimated that a total of 700,000 students in Amahra are still out of school.

In Amhara, the situation along areas bordering Tigray, namely in Wag Hamra, North Wello and North Gondar zones, remains tense. Severallocations remain hard to reach for partners’ humanitarian operations due to security concerns, including Abergele and Tsagibji kebeles, parts of Zequala kebeles in Wag Hamra Zone, large sections of Kobo in North Wello Zone, and in Addi Arekay in the North Gondar Zone.

Meanwhile, the Amhara regional government authorities continued with the relocation of IDPs in Kobo and Sekota. To date, and since 14 March, they have relocated more than 16,000 people out of an estimated 58,000 registered IDPs planned for relocation from Kobo in North Wollo Zone to Jara, near Weldiya, the zonal capital. In Wag Hamra, about 1,800 IDPs have been relocated to Weleh IDP site so far, out of the estimated 12,000 IDPs in the zone planned for relocation to the site. The construction of basic facilities and installation of tents and rub halls at the relocation sites continued during the week, but this is still insufficient to accommodate and meet the needs of the relocated IDPs. Lack of critical assistance persists in the provision of food, emergency shelter, water, sanitation and hygiene, health and nutrition services, and non-food items. Humanitarian are working to scale up the response to the IDPs relocated in the region.

In Afar, the humanitarian situation remains dire with amounting needs bypassing the current response and increased number of IDPs and vulnerabilities. According to regional government authorities, the fighting in Kilbati/Zone 2 has displaced more than 294,000 people in Berhale, Koneba, Magale, Erabti, and Dallol woredas since the beginning of the year. These figures are not yet verified by humanitarian partners due to access constraints. It is estimated that the population of Zone 2 is around 400,000 people. The majority of the IDPs in the region are residing with host communities and need humanitarian assistance which has so far been limited. The conflict has also seriously impacted the delivery of social services to the population due to damage to civilian infrastructure including water schemes, electricity, health posts, hospitals, schools, and government offices.

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