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Daily Noon Briefing Highlights: Ethiopia

14 Dec 2020

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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. Credit: UNHCR/Ariane Maxiandeau

Daily Noon Briefing Highlights – 14 December 2020

Ethiopia

OCHA continues to report on dire shortages of vital supplies, including food, water, fuel, cash, electricity and telecommunication services in Tigray region, Ethiopia. Yesterday, the mobile network and electrical power were reportedly restored in Mekelle, Tigray State capital.

So far, more than 63,000 people have been recorded as internally displaced, including some who fled towards Afar and Amhara, but these numbers are expected to change if access to the region is allowed and further information becomes available.

Preliminary findings from an inter-agency mission conducted between 2 and 8 December in Afar indicate that thousands of newly internally displaced people need water, sanitation and hygiene services, as well as medical supplies and care.

The UN, along with its humanitarian partners, continues to mobilize resources and personnel and prepare to scale up the assistance in Tigray as soon as humanitarian access is reestablished.

The UN continues to engage at the highest levels with the Federal Government to work out operational details, including security conditions, to guarantee access.

UNHCR and partners in Shire continue to coordinate protection delivery to the refugees, despite challenges to access the camps and sustain the operational capacity on the ground.

Meanwhile, a convoy carrying medicines and relief supplies from the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Ethiopian Red Cross Society, organized in coordination with the Ethiopian authorities, has reached Mekelle. Health-care facilities there have become paralysed after supplies of drugs and basics such as surgical gloves ran out. It is the first international aid to arrive in Mekelle since fighting erupted in Tigray more than one month ago.