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Daily Noon Briefing Highlights: Ethiopia

19 Nov 2020

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Ethiopian refugees fleeing clashes in the country's northern Tigray region, cross the border into Hamdayet, Sudan. Credit: UNHCR/Hazim Elhag

Daily Noon Briefing Highlights – 19 November 2020

Ethiopia

The humanitarian situation in Tigray region is increasingly critical, with fighting reportedly moving towards densely populated areas.

The UN and humanitarian organizations are gravely concerned about the safety of civilians who may be caught up in the conflict and about lack of access, as roads are still blocked hindering humanitarian delivery to affected population.

The UN, along with its humanitarian partners, is identifying existing stocks of aid supplies and staff to deploy to the region once access is granted.

The UN urgently calls on all parties to the conflict to allow immediate, free, safe and unhindered humanitarian access.

In addition to sourcing new financial and technical capacity, re-purposing and re-programming efforts are ongoing.

Electricity is cut off and fuel for generators has run out, leaving 96,000 Eritrean refugees in Ethiopia without clean water.

UNHCR colleagues report that more than 31,300 people have already crossed into Sudan, where fuel shortages, limited transportation and poor road conditions are hampering the relocation of refugees from border areas to settlement sites.

Humanitarian organizations in both Sudan and Ethiopia urgently require additional funding to meet the most immediate needs of people affected by the conflict.

A Humanitarian Preparedness Plan targeting nearly 2 million people has been finalized. The plan seeks US$75.7 million to provide life-saving assistance to people affected by the conflict in Tigray, Afar and Amhara regions until January 2021.

In addition to the current conflict, there are humanitarian needs elsewhere in the country related to displacement, desert locust, food insecurity and the COVID-19 pandemic, among others.

Earlier today, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mark Lowcock, spoke with BBC Radio 4 ‘The World Tonight’ regarding the situation in Ethiopia. His interview is available here: