ETHIOPIA – TIGRAY REGION HUMANITARIAN UPDATE
Situation ReportLast updated:
Source: UN OCHA
Humanitarian Preparedness and Response
Humanitarian presence is gradually increasing with improved access procedures in the Tigray Region. There are currently [as of 6 April 2021] 186 UN staff supporting the humanitarian response in the region (33 international and 116 national staff in Mekelle and 3 international and 34 national staff in Shire), and over 1,500 more aid workers with international and national NGOs. Humanitarian organizations continue to deploy additional staff to support the scale up of operations and ensure protection-by-presence amid reports of ongoing violence against civilians. There are 51 partners (Government, UN, NGO) operating across the region.
Food insecurity has worsened in the region, especially since the conflict erupted during the harvest season. Further deterioration is expected should the conflict continue and disrupt the next planting season. Limited food assistance, poor beneficiary targeting and lack of/restricted access to banking services are contributing to the food insecurity.
In a press statement, WFP informed it has begun providing emergency food assistance to vulnerable people in Tigray and has appealed for US$170 million to meet critical food and nutrition needs over the next six months. Partners have however raised concern about the adequacy of assistance as many areas across Tigray have only received food assistance, and this assistance has not reached the entire population (assistance figures are reportedly 50-60 per cent of the total population), and assistance has generally been delivered once, or in some cases twice, during a period of four months.
Shelter Cluster partners have reported logistical and supply capacity constraints, with an estimated response gap of about 64 per cent. While the Shire water supply system has been repaired, the current WASH response relies on water trucking and the water quality water is reportedly not safe. The INGO MSF and partners have expressed concerns the risk of disease outbreaks, in view of the upcoming rainy season. Furthermore, current vaccine distributions cannot accommodate the high number of new arrivals in Shire hence the need to urgently scale up health activities.
Nutrition Cluster partners are yet to launch mass-scale screening activities, while protection partners are advocating for increased budgets and resources to expand their capacity from the nine currently covered sites to all IDP sites.
In Western Zone, one round of food was distributed by the Amhara Regional Government. However, the distribution was reported by the local and zonal officials and beneficiaries to be inadequate, inconsistent and the food basket incomplete. Many people reportedly did not receive food. Since October 2020, water supply systems are not functioning due to power outage and unavailability of fuel. Residents and IDPs use water from unprotected sources for drinking and other purposes. So far, there is no WASH response in the visited areas, the only response mentioned was a one-time supply of 32,000 liters of fuel by CARE Ethiopia to Maykadra and limited WASH NFI supply with support from the Regional Water Bureau and UNICEF. Girls and women walk for nearly 3 hours round trip in search of water amidst security and potential GBV risks.