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Daily Noon Briefing Highlights: Ethiopia

13 Jan 2021

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Ethiopian refugees fleeing clashes in the country's northern Tigray region wait for UNHCR assistance at a transit centre near Hamdayet border crossing in Sudan, November 2020. © UNHCR/Ariane Maxiandeau

Daily Noon Briefing Highlights – 13 January 2021

Ethiopia

OCHA is deeply concerned about the plight of hundreds of thousands of people who have still not received assistance in Tigray, Ethiopia, more than two and a half months since the conflict began.

The UN continues to receive alarming reports of civilians being injured and killed during fighting in rural areas of Tigray, and violations against civilians, including gender-based violence. The verification of this information, however, remains challenging.

Aid workers have managed to deliver assistance in some areas, mainly in cities, where access has been granted by the authorities. However, the number of people reached is extremely low compared with the number of people the UN estimates to be in need of life-saving assistance – that is around 2.3 million people.

The situation is particularly critical for newly displaced people and refugees, especially those who were living in the Hitsats and Shimelba camps, which are still inaccessible.

OCHA has also warned that bank closures in most parts of rural Tigray before conflict started have left most of the 270,000 direct beneficiaries of the Government’s Safety Net Programme without assistance. These are extremely vulnerable people who rely on these monthly cash transfers to meet their basic needs.

Humanitarian assistance continues to be constrained by the lack of full, safe and unhindered access to Tigray caused by both insecurity and bureaucratic delays.

The UN and humanitarian partners in Ethiopia urgently call on all parties to allow the immediate safe passage of humanitarian personnel and supplies to the Tigray Region to make sure we are able to reach all people who desperately need assistance.