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Daily Noon Briefing Highlights: Ethiopia

05 May 2021


Tens of thousands of refugees have crossed the border from Ethiopia to Sudan, fleeing conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray region. © WFP/Leni Kinzli

Daily Noon Briefing Highlights – 5 May 2021


The security situation in Tigray remains unpredictable and volatile, with active hostilities impeding the scale-up of operations in rural areas.

Cases of COVID-19 have been reported among displaced people in Mekelle who are living in cramped conditions, with insufficient isolation centres to mitigate a large-scale outbreak.

Health challenges include the lack of essential medicines, for mobile health and nutrition teams, and the lack of medical equipment, including oxygen cylinders in Shire, as well as fuel shortages for referral and ambulance services.

The provision of shelter and non-food support for those displaced has been delayed by ongoing heavy rains and insecurity.

Despite challenges, humanitarian partners continue the relief scale-up to try and reach all people in need in Tigray.

Food distribution remains the main component of the emergency response. As of 29 April, the Government and World Food Programme have distributed more than 19,000 metric tons of food, reaching 1.1 million people in 35 districts in the region.

Last week, an inter-agency humanitarian convoy reached Samre and Gijet towns in South-Eastern Zone, and delivered emergency food, nutrition supplies and non-food items. A health clinic was also set up in Samre Hospital, which remains dysfunctional.

Two referral hospitals in Adigrat and Axum are now providing psychosocial services to survivors of gender-based violence, with the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) providing three health kits for the clinical management of rape. In addition, the UN and partners have distributed 19 sexual and reproductive health kits to 8 hospitals and health facilities in 3 rural areas.

OCHA says that the humanitarian response in Tigray remains insufficient to meet the needs of all affected people. Additional personnel, funds, as well as unfettered and safe access, are required to scale up to the level needed to respond across the region.