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Daily Noon Briefing Highlights: Ethiopia

04 Feb 2021

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World Food Programme (WFP) aid workers and volunteers distribute lentils to refugee families in Village 8 refugee settlement, Sudan, November 2020. The UN Refugee Agency says that about 43,000 people have fled Ethiopia’s embattled Tigray region into neighbouring Sudan. © WFP/Arete/Joost Bastmeijer

Daily Noon Briefing Highlights – 4 February 2021

Ethiopia

The humanitarian situation in Tigray is dire, as hundreds of thousands of people have still not received assistance.

Economic activity, electricity, communication and basic services remain largely disrupted, especially in rural areas, where two thirds of the population lives.

Banks remain closed, except in Mekelle, hindering efforts of the public administration and humanitarian organizations to provide basic services.

Lack of food in markets is reported, as the conflict broke out during harvest season, leaving crops unharvested, and key supply routes to Tigray are still cut. Malnutrition among the population was already on the rise because of COVID-19 and desert locusts.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that nearly 80 per cent of the hospitals remain unfunctional, while medical supplies delivered are not sufficient.

Some 1.3 million children have been out of school since the beginning of the conflict. Many schools are now sheltering internally displaced people. There are reports of separated children, forced recruitment, missing family members, and serious allegations of sexual and gender-based violence.

Access constraints due to the ongoing conflict and administrative bureaucracy continue to challenge the urgent scale-up of humanitarian assistance.

The UN continues to call for full, immediate, safe and unimpeded humanitarian access to provide urgent assistance and protection to those in need.

The UN is encouraged that recent high-level visits have resulted in productive exchanges with Ethiopian authorities, who appreciate the potential for further deterioration should humanitarian needs continue to go unmet. The UN looks forward to making progress on the assurances received at the highest levels.