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Ethiopia - Northern Ethiopia Humanitarian Update Situation Report, 29 Apr 2022

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  • 3,400 MT of food brought into Tigray between 1 and 25 April. At least 4,675 MT of food are required every day to complete current food distribution by mid-May.

  • More than 46,000 students across 144 schools in Wag Hemra Zone, South Wello, North Wello Oromia zones of Amhara Region received school feeding services during the reporting week.

  • Some 16,500 IDPs in Amhara Region have been assisted with essential NFI kits during this reporting week.

  • 82,884 people received food assistance in Fanti Raise and Kilbati Rasu zones in Afar during the reporting period and overall 698,503 peopl assisted as of 25 April.


Situation Overview

The overall humanitarian situation in northern Ethiopia remains dire. In Afar Region, a recent nutrition assessment conducted in four IDP sites indicated a proxy global acute malnutrition (GAM) rate of 36 per cent, moderate malnutrition (MAM) rate of 30 per cent and severe acute malnutrition (SAM) rate of 6 six per cent. The lack of adequate treatment services for the moderately malnourished people in the IDP sites, gaps in WASH services particularly in Semera IDP sites and insufficient food being distributed are worsening the IDPs’ nutrition status. Looking at Tigray, of 18,597 children under 5 years screened during the reporting period, 5,176 (27.8 per cent) were GAM , of which 584 children were severely malnourished. And out of 7,335 pregnant and nursing mothers screened, 4,206 (57.2 per cent) were malnourished during the same period. Generally, the level of food insecurity can be expected to worsen in the coming months as humanitarian assistance is not delivered at scale and on time across all regions. In addition, in Tigray, the prospects for harvesting even half of last year’s crop production during the 2022 main cropping season (Meher/summer) are bleak unless sufficient amounts of seeds and fertilizers are delivered ahead of the planting season.Reports indicate that farmers in Tigray have been preparing the ground to plant seeds, and are ready to use locally available seeds if no better option in availed to them fast.

The education of children continues to be affected. Overall, an estimated 1.39 million children in Tigray are entering their third year without access to learning. An additional 144,200 primary school students and 25,000 children accessing alternative learning programmes are at risk of dropping out of school due to food and other basic supply shortage. Some 46,598 teachers across the region also require immediate life-saving multi-purpose cash and food assistance to keep schools open. Similarly in Amhara Region, more than 558 schools (around 6 schools in the region) across North Gondar, North Wello, Wag Hemra, Wolkayit Tegedie, Setit Humera zones are still closed due to security reasons. And more than 97 schools in North Wello, Wag Hemra and North Gondar zones are temporarily sheltering IDPs and armed forces.

Despite efforts to mobilize resources and scale-up the response, it has not reached the required scope and scale required to respond to the several crises in northern Ethiopia. With the relative improvement in humanitarian road access into Tigray since 1 April, nearly 3,400 MT of food was brought into the region through the three humanitarian convoys that have so far reached Mekelle from Semera (on 1/2 April, on 15 April and 25 April). The latest convoy on 25 April consisted of 74, of which 71 trucks arrived in Tigray carrying food, nutrition, and WASH NFI supplies; three trucks remain behind in Abala due to mechanical issues. An additional 6 fuel tankers arrived in Tigray. All of the food supplies were dispatched to prioritized woredas, including Mekelle, Abi-Adi town (Central), Adwa town (Central), Axum town (Central), Adigrat town (Eastern), Maichew town (Southern), Sheraro town (North Western) and two refugee camps in North Western Zone. Distribution is currently ongoing. Despite this progress, the scale and available resources are not near enough to meet the identified needs. After the nearly 3,400 MT of food brought and dispatched in Tigray, partners remained with only around 756 MT of food commodities in stock within Tigray as of 27 April. The majority of the stock is pulses and vegetable oil, and there is merely enough stock (14 MT) to feed about 833 people with a balanced three-commodity food basket for one round.

Reports of lack of adequate assistance reported across all other sectors is also rampant. In Amhara, basic needs particularly shelter needs for IDPs remain largely unmet. The majority of IDPs are living in makeshift shelters due to insufficient resources to construct emergency shelters. The living conditions of displaced persons living in congested collective centers in Wag Hemra Zone is worsening exposing vulnerable groups to additional health and protection risks. In Afar Region, service monitoring conducted during the reporting week in Afdera and Silsa Guya IDP sites revealed inadequate WASH, shelter/NFIs and health services available to the IDPs. The host communities are equally affected by the lack of these services as they also rely on these services in the IDP sites, particularly for access to water.

Overall, the humanitarian response in northern Ethiopia remains constrained by security concerns and administrative limitations such as the inability to bring in sufficient supplies, fuel, and cash to Tigray and limited access to people in hard-to-reach areas across northern Ethiopia. In Amhara Region, humanitarian partners are facing access challenges to reach conflict-affected populations in Raya Kobo woreda of North Wollo Zone, Abergele, Tsagbji woredas and some kebeles of Ziquala woredas of Wag Hemra Zone, and in Adi Arekay and some kebeles of Tselemt woredas of North Gondar Zone. During the reporting week, the security situation along the road from Kewet/Shewa Robit, North Shewa to Kemise Oromo Zone has been tense. Similarly in Afar, IDPs in Balbal, Adukwa, Garbena and Gimirida sites in Afar cannot be reached due to insecurity.

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