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Daily Noon Briefing Highlights: Ethiopia

17 Sep 2021


People wait for food assistance at Workambe, Keyh Tekli Woreda, in Tigray, Ethiopia, June 2021. © OCHA/Mulu Tesfay Araya

Daily Noon Briefing Highlights – 17 September 2021


In northern Ethiopia, the escalation of the conflict, which has expanded beyond Tigray and into Afar and Amhara, is causing needs to rise rapidly, while humanitarian access remains complex and constrained. 

Following two weeks without access, humanitarians managed to send 147 trucks into Tigray between 5 and 7 September. More than 50 additional trucks are currently en route from Semera in Afar. The first European Union Humanitarian Air Bridge flight also arrived in Tigray last week. However, this continues to fall far short of the required supplies, with 100 trucks a day needed to sustain aid operations. Furthermore, while some relief items have been delivered, others have been denied passage, including life-saving medicines, high-energy biscuits, and fuel and cash for humanitarian operations. 

In addition to these challenges, many of the trucks bringing humanitarian aid into Tigray – primarily vehicles from private companies contracted by the World Food Programme and other agencies – have not returned and this is further impacting our ability to send relief items into the region. Among the reasons cited are lack of fuel to return as well as drivers fearing for their security.

The UN is urgently engaging with all parties, including transporters and local authorities in Tigray, to make sure any logistical issues that may be preventing the trucks from leaving Tigray are resolved, at the same time as working to make additional trucks available for the aid operation.

The UN acknowledges the commitments of Federal and Afar regional authorities to reduce the number of checkpoints on the road route and facilitate access, and continue to engage with them to ensure that all humanitarian cargo – including fuel, cash, health and nutrition supplies – are able to enter Tigray to support people who have now endured more than 10 months of conflict.