Eritrea continues to experience extreme access constraints. There is very limited humanitarian presence as the Government only allows a small number of NGOs to operate in the country.
In accordance with Proclamation No.145/2005, the few organisations present in Eritrea can only implement programmes in partnership with government entities.
The Government also places more emphasis on development programmes, restricting the kind of projects these organisations can offer. The Government implements movement restrictions within the country, requiring official permission for anyone seeking to travel from one region to another. This restriction affects both the access of people in need to assistance and the access of humanitarian staff to people in need.
Checkpoints located countrywide require travel permits and identification documents to confirm that travellers have the authorisation to travel. Some areas, like Adi Keyh, Agordat, Arezza, Barentu, Dekemhare, Ghinda, and Nakfa towns and the stretch between Setit and Mereb Rivers, are contaminated with landmines that also limit people’s movement.
The Eritrean telecommunications sector is underdeveloped, partly because of a monopoly in telephone service provision and limited investment in the sector. Landline, mobile phone, and internet networks are unreliable and often limited to a few hours of service a day in major cities.
The Government also controls the issuance of SIM cards. Some rural areas are inaccessible by road and can only be accessed by foot, camel, or donkey. Limited telecommunication services and the absence of road networks in these areas lead people in need to walk typically long distances to facilities with telephones to receive information about upcoming humanitarian programmes, such as health interventions.