Ethiopia – Northern Ethiopia Humanitarian Situation Report, 11 June 2022 – Ethiopia

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STRONG POINTS

  • More than 65,500 MT of food delivered to Mekelle between April 1 and June 6 by the main food partners through 18 humanitarian convoys via the Semera-Abala-Mekelle road.

  • 4,485 displaced and returnee households in North Shewa, North Wello and Wag Hemra areas in the Amhara region received emergency shelter and non-food items.

  • 243 IDPs from North and South Wollo and Oromia Special Areas have returned to eight different destinations in Oromia, with Debre Birhan serving as the collection point.

  • The latest nutritional data in Afar indicates that admissions of severely malnourished children have increased by 28% compared to the same period in April last year.

Overview of the situation

The situation in northern Ethiopia remains generally calm but unpredictable. In Tigray, some places, especially in parts of the central, eastern and western zones, remain difficult to reach for partners. Security incidents in Sheraro have disrupted humanitarian operations by partners, while many have resumed operations. Similarly, in Amhara, Abergele, Adi Arekay, Tsagibji, six kebeles in Zequala, two kebeles in Sekota Zuria and one kebele in Waja are hard to reach areas. On June 3, a Joint Assessment and Rapid Response Mission was conducted in Nuraqua Town, Abergele Woreda in Wag Hemra Zone, Amhara Region. This is the first time since December 2021. The mission mainly assessed the security and humanitarian access situation and health issues in the city. The mission also delivered four medical kits (drugs and renewable materials) and two anti-malaria kits to the Nuraqua health centre. As a follow-up, planning for an inter-agency and multi-sectoral needs assessment is underway to inform and scale up the response to internally displaced persons (IDPs) and other vulnerable groups in the city and surrounding areas. In Afar, a delegation mission for the Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA) to Semera was conducted on June 6, where the delegation met with high-level regional government officials and United Nations representatives /NGO and interacted with IDPs.

Meanwhile, humanitarian supplies continue to arrive in the Tigray region via the Semera-Abala-Mekelle road since 1 April. Between April 1 and June 6, more than 65,500 tonnes of food were delivered to Mekelle, Tigray, by major food partners via 18 humanitarian convoys. Of the over 65,500 tonnes of food delivered and based on reports received to date, at least 14,700 tonnes of food have been distributed to over 907,000 people in the region as of 1 June. This is in addition to the food aid provided to refugees in the North West Zone. The rest of the completed and ongoing cast are awaiting updates from the lot with some delays due to communication issues. There were also over 4,900 MT of SE/NFI, over 3,800 MT of nutrition items, over 2,400 MT of WASH items, over 400 MT of health items, 360 MT of protection, 280 MT of education and 80 MT of articles. agricultural products brought into Mekelle between April 1 and June 6. An additional 1,250 tonnes of mixed cargo also transported food and non-food items to Mekelle. Humanitarian supplies also continued to be flown from Addis Ababa to Mekelle in Tigray. During the reporting week, approximately 11 MT of health (7.4 MT) and nutritional (3.6 MT) cargo was airlifted on behalf of three partners. Despite this positive progress, significant gaps remain to address the vast humanitarian needs in Tigray, primarily fuel shortages. Considering confirmed distributions, ongoing distributions and confirmed (but not yet distributed) shipments, food partners reported that as of June 9, at least 16,000 tons of food remains in Mekelle as partners are not in able to ship them to various woredas due to lack of fuel. (at least 135,000 liters of fuel required). This stock is sufficient to serve approximately 950,000 people with common food baskets.

Meanwhile, in Amhara, IDPs continue to suffer from overcrowded and substandard living conditions in IDP sites, amid reports of new arrivals. Overall, there are an estimated 1.3 million IDPs in the region, the majority in protracted displacement from Oromia and other areas. For example, in Debre Birhan, which currently hosts over 20,000 IDPs, there are reports of a continued influx of IDPs from Oromia region due to insecurity. Authorities in Debre Birhan plan to return displaced people to selected areas in Oromia that are considered “safe and secure”, on a voluntary basis. So far, 243 displaced people from North and South Wollo and Oromia Special Areas have been returned to eight different destinations in Oromia, with Debre Birhan serving as the collection point. Authorities plan to return an additional 4,000 IDPs. However, the majority of the displaced people prefer not to return to their place of origin in Oromia due to security concerns.

Return operations are also ongoing in the Tigray region with 2,645 displaced households (5,278 individuals) returned from Adigrat to their woredas of origin with the support of local authorities and partners. All returnees received cash for transport, basic necessities and protection advice from partners. Similarly, in Afar, returns of displaced persons led by local authorities have continued. The first phase of these returns targets IDPs from Abala residing in the sites of Logia, Semera, Dubti, Guya and Harsuma. The exact number of those who have returned is not yet known, however, it is estimated that around 450 households have returned from Harsuma. The remaining displaced people in Harsuma are said to have dismantled and packed their temporary shelter in preparation for their return. Meanwhile, in Afar, discussions are underway to plan the return of IDPs to the Dubti site. Improved security conditions, including the issue of unexploded ordnance (UXO) and the need to rehabilitate social services in areas of return were highlighted by IDPs during consultations to support their return.

Overall, most return areas in northern Ethiopia have been severely affected by the conflict due to the lack of adequate basic facilities. Humanitarian assistance may continue in areas of return until access to basic services is restored.

Across northern Ethiopia, children’s schooling continues to be affected by the impact of conflict. An estimated 1.4 million children in Tigray enter their third year without access to education. Similarly, around 700,000 students in Amhara are out of school, 493 schools in North Gondar and North Wollo areas are still closed, and an additional 97 schools housing IDPs and/or used by armed forces in North Wello, North Gondar and Wag Hemra. . In Afar, 245 schools in conflict-affected areas remain closed and five schools are currently hosting IDPs, affecting the schooling of more than 53,000 children.

Disclaimer

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