Daily Noon Briefing Highlights: Ethiopia - Central Sahel
TitleDaily Noon Briefing Highlights: Ethiopia - Central Sahel
A child sits inside a vehicle burned out during fighting in the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia. © UNICEF/Christine Nesbitt
Daily Noon Briefing Highlights – 27 January 2022
In northern Ethiopia, continued fighting around Abala in Afar, near the boundary with Tigray, is causing more people to flee their homes and prevents the delivery of assistance into Tigray. As this is the only available road route, no supplies has arrived since mid-December.
In Tigray, the UN and our NGO partners have been forced to scale back operations due to the severe shortages of supplies, fuel and cash. Organizations have warned that operations could cease completely by the end of February. Nutrition supplies for supplementary feeding and treatment of severe acute malnutrition have already run out.
A shipment of 3.5 metric tons of medicines was flown to Mekelle on 24 January by the UN Humanitarian Air Service on behalf of an NGO partner. The medical supplies will be used for primary health care and to treat severe acute malnutrition among young children, and are estimated to benefit around 35,000 people.
The fighting in Afar has reportedly led to the displacement of tens of thousands of people in the last few weeks. Food, emergency shelter, non-food items, water and sanitation, and access to medical services were identified as urgent needs for the newly displaced.
Assistance continues to scale up in accessible areas of Amhara and Afar. More than 523,000 people were reached with food assistance in Amhara during the past week. Some 3.2 million people have been reached with food since late October.
In Afar, nearly 380,000 people have been reached in the ongoing round of food distribution. Therapeutic nutrition supplies were also distributed to multiple locations.
At a virtual meeting on the Sahel region today, co-hosted by OCHA, Denmark, Germany and the European Union, UN humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths said that nearly 15 million people in Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso will need humanitarian assistance in 2022, 4 million people more than in January last year.
Driving the crisis is a confluence of conflict, climate change, increasing political instability, lack of sustainable development opportunities, poverty, and COVID-19, Mr. Griffiths said.
The humanitarian community will need close to US$2 billion for the humanitarian response in these three countries this year. Last year, humanitarian organizations reached more than 7 million people in the region and raised $700 million in funding, but needs are growing faster than generosity.
Mr. Griffiths called for more focus on resilience, sustainable solutions and cooperation across the humanitarian and development sector, and peace efforts, to make real progress.