Ethiopia – Northern Ethiopia Humanitarian Update Situation Report, 20 January 2022


All-time lowest food distribution in Tigray as stock and fuel almost entirely exhausted reaching only about 10,000 people between 6-12 January.

More than 578,000 people reached with food assistance under two food distribution rounds in Amhara during the reporting week.

About 377,000 people or about 71 per cent of the 534,000 targeted population, reached with food assistance under the current food distribution in Afar, as of 16 January.

More than 145,000 children received measles vaccination in Tigray so far, but the campaign faces challenges including lack of fuel, cash, and cold chain capacity.

An estimated hundreds of thousands of internally displaced persons have returned to their places of origin in Amhara.


Situation Overview

The situation in northern Ethiopia remains tense and fluid with reported clashes in some areas in Amhara along the border with Tigray in North Gondar, Wag Hemra, North and South Wello, and North Shewa zones. Fighting was also reported along Afar and Tigray border areas. Drone strikes reported on 15 January against Maychew, Korem in Samre towns in Southern and South-Eastern zones in Tigray reportedly killing a dozen of civilians and injuring several others. Another airstrike reported on 13 January on two stationary vehicles in May Tsebri town, in North-Western Zone, with no reported casualties. The hostilities are putting the civilian lives at risk and hindering humanitarian access and delivery of aid to those affected areas.

Returns of internally displaced persons (IDPs) to their places of origin in Amhara continue to be reported during the week, with an estimated hundreds of thousands of people have already returned. Mapping of return locations, confirming the number of people returned, and assessing damages in return areas are ongoing. In Tigray, partners supported the return of more than 8,000 IDPs to their villages and towns in Central and Eastern zones during the reporting week. About 5,000 people from Dedebit IDP site in North-Western Zone were relocated to Selekleka on 15 January due to security concerns following an airstrike on the site a week earlier that reportedly killed scores of IDPs.
On the other hand, displacement continued to be reported in northern Ethiopia. Between 8-14 January, few thousand people were displaced from North Gondar Zone in Amhara and several hundred people from North-Western zone in Tigray.

The displaced people who arrived in Debark Town in North Gondar are in urgent need of non-food items including sanitation and hygiene, medical services, livelihood support, , cash, food, shelter, protection, technical and potable water. More than 200 people arrived in Mekelle from Zelambasa in Eastern Zone.

The transport of humanitarian supplies into Tigray, via the Semera-Abala-Mekelle corridor, remain on halt since 14 December due to the ongoing fighting in Abala. Meanwhile, 68 trucks of humanitarian supplies are in the dry port in Semera waiting to proceed to Mekelle. This includes more than 2,400 metric tons (MT) of food, nutrition, WASH, NFI, health, and protection items such as dignity kits for women and adolescent girls. Trucks are offloaded in the warehouse in Semera until convoys’ movement resumes. Overall, 1,338 trucks have entered the region since 12 July, which represents less than 10 per cent of the required supplies needed to meet the vast scale of humanitarian needs of 5.2 million people, or 90 per cent of the population in Tigray. (20 Jan 2022)

Four tankers carrying more than 155,000 liters of fuel are also awaiting approvals in Semera. No fuel for humanitarian operations has been allowed into Tigray since 2 August, except for two WFP trucks. As partners are unable to receive sufficient fuel loans locally, they have no choice but to reduce, postpone or cancel critical distributions such as food, medicine, and nutrition interventions.

Consequently, the scale of food distributions has reached an all-time low in Tigray as food stocks and fuel have almost been entirely exhausted. Food assistance partners are facing severe fuel shortages with less than 5,000 litres of fuel (excluding contingency stock) available as of 18 January. Partners who had been forced to suspend dispatch more than a month ago were only able to resume on 15 January with some limited amount of fuel they received locally. Other partners have suspended food dispatch as their transporters could no longer access fuel locally. As of 18 January, partners reported around 1,200 MT of food commodities available within Tigray, out of which, there is only enough stock to feed around 28,400 people with a complete three-commodity common food basket for one round. WFP reported that stocks of nutritionally fortified food for the treatment of malnourished children and women are now exhausted, while the last cereals, pulses and oil are distributed.

In Afar, a field mission was conducted between 12-14 January to Erebti, Berhale and Dallol Woredas in Zone 2 to assess humanitarian access and the needs of IDPs. There is an estimated 15,000 IDPs in Dallol who are staying with host communities and an estimated 2,000 IDPs -mainly women and children- live in two government buildings in Erebti. In Berhale, an estimated 42,000 IDPs live with host communities or are renting accommodation and more than 5,000 IDPs live in a government building. The IDPs and the host communities who have exhausted their resources need humanitarian assistance. Humanitarian response is significantly low in Afar due to insecurity and lack of access in some areas, low presence of partners, and lack of funding.


Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

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