Ethiopia – Situation report on the humanitarian situation in northern Ethiopia, 27 January 2022 – Ethiopia


  • Humanitarian partners in Tigray continue to scale back operations due to the depletion of supplies, fuel and cash, expressing concern that operations will cease by the end of February.

  • Zero therapeutic nutritional supply in Tigray, including for the treatment of children suffering from severe acute malnutrition.

  • A shipment of medical supplies was transported via a UNHAS flight to Mekelle on January 24.

  • More than 523,000 people received food aid during the week as part of two food distribution rounds in Amhara.

  • Over 60 unaccompanied and separated children, including 27 girls, were identified during the reporting period in Afar.


Overview of the situation

The situation in northern Ethiopia remains tense and unpredictable with fighting reported in Afar including Aradu kebele, Megale, Erebti, Berahle, Dalol and Abala. Fighting was also reported in parts of Amhara along the border with Tigray, including areas of North Gondar, Wag Hemra and North Wello. In the rest of the Amhara region, the situation remains calm and accessible for a humanitarian response. In Tigray, fighting was reported in the southwest from the town of Sheraro to Wolkait, Tsegede and Humera in the western area. Hostilities are putting civilian lives at risk, increasing humanitarian needs and hampering humanitarian access and the delivery of aid in the Tigray region through the Semera-Abala-Mekelle corridor as well as in affected areas of the Afar regions and Amhara.

Fighting in Afar has reportedly displaced tens of thousands of people in recent weeks. IDPs reportedly arrived at three IDP sites in Urukdi, Gube, Erebiti in Zone 2, and in Afdera town. The new number of displacement cases increases needs and adds to already overstretched humanitarian operations. An unconfirmed number of newly displaced people from Afar and Amhara have arrived in Wukro Atsbi and Agulae woredas in Tigray following armed conflict along the border areas with Tigray. Displacements have also been reported in North Gondar in Amhara. Food, emergency shelter, non-food items, water and sanitation, and access to medical services have been identified as urgent needs for newly displaced people.

Returns of internally displaced persons (IDPs) to their places of origin continued to be reported during the week. Mapping of places of return, confirmation of the number of returnees and damage assessment in areas of return are ongoing. In Afar, some 30,000 IDPs housed in Wak/50 and Ewa sites have reportedly returned to Chifra and Ewa woredas. While the majority were voluntary returns, some were returned without consent and without adequate livelihood support in areas of return, where conditions are still not conducive to return with damaged and looted public infrastructure such as systems. water supply, schools and health facilities. In Tigray, more than 8,800 displaced people returned to their places of origin in the East, Center, South and South-East zones between December 8, 2021 and January 23, 2022. In the North-West Zone, more than 3 300 people would have gone home. at Adi Hageray Woreda.

Meanwhile, a shipment of 3.5 MT of medicines arrived in Mekelle by the United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) on behalf of a partner (international non-governmental organization) on 24 January. The medical supplies, which include pediatric intravenous cannulas, antibiotics and potassium chloride tablets, will be used for the primary health care and nutrition program treating cases of severe acute malnutrition (SAM) in young children, and will be distributed to health and stabilization centers in four districts namely Bezet, Aheferom, Adet (Adwa) and Raya Chercher. It is estimated that it will benefit around 35,000 people.

No humanitarian supplies have arrived in Tigray via the Semera-Abala-Mekelle corridor since 14 December due to continued fighting in Afar. A total of 1,338 trucks have entered the region since July 12, representing less than 10% of the supplies needed to meet the scale of the humanitarian needs of 5.2 million people, or 90% of the country’s population. Tiger. As of January 25, food partners, for example, had only about 1,000 tons of food in Tigray, of which there was only enough stock to feed about 20,000 people with a full common food basket of three products for one round. Nutritional supplies to support targeted and general supplementary feeding and treatment of severe acute malnutrition (SAM) in Tigray are currently at zero stock balance.

Four tankers carrying more than 155,000 liters of fuel are still awaiting approval at Semera. No fuel for humanitarian operations has been allowed in Tigray since August 2, with the exception of two WFP trucks. As partners are unable to receive enough fuel loans locally, they have had to reduce, postpone or cancel essential distributions such as food, water, medicine and nutrition interventions. Water trucking to IDP sites, for example, has been significantly affected by the lack of fuel, where approximately 418,000 IDPs in 131 sites require 295 water truck trips each day, necessitating 1,990 liters of fuel per day. Currently, humanitarian partners have only been able to meet around 19% of water needs in IDP sites on average since early October by distributing 2.8 liters of water per day/per person while 15 liters are needed according to the appropriate standard.

All international NGOs operating in Tigray reported on 24 January that they had run out of fuel and that their staff were delivering on foot, as far as possible, the few remaining humanitarian supplies and services. Similarly, national NGOs, which reach a large segment of the population in need in Tigray, risk completely stopping their operations due to lack of fuel and money as they have not been able to provide money since June 2021.

Food partners are facing severe fuel shortages with less than 5,000 liters of fuel (excluding emergency stock) in Tigray as of 25 January. Partners who had been forced to suspend expeditions for more than a month were only able to resume on January 15 with a limited amount of fuel allocated by local authorities. Other partners suspended food shipments because their carriers could no longer access fuel locally.

Malnutrition levels among young children in northern Ethiopia continue to reach alarming levels. During the reporting period, more than 4,300 children under the age of five were screened for malnutrition in Tigray, of which more than one thousand (1,000) children, or 23.7%, were identified with acute malnutrition. (GAM), much higher than the 15 percent threshold, and 182 children or 4.2 percent diagnosed with severe acute malnutrition (SAM), a very alarming level. Similarly, about 770 children in Afar were screened for malnutrition of which 167 or 21.7% were diagnosed with moderate acute malnutrition (MAM) and 22 or 3.5% were diagnosed with SAM. In Amhara, the indirect rate of GAM among children under five reached 34%.

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