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Daily Noon Briefing Highlights: Ethiopia

08 Jan 2021

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Tens of thousands of refugees crossed the border from Ethiopia to Sudan, fleeing conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, November 2020. © WFP/Leni Kinzli

Daily Noon Briefing Highlights – 7 January 2021

Ethiopia

While the UN, along with its humanitarian partners, has been able to access areas in Tigray, Ethiopia, previously inaccessible, particularly in cities, localized fighting and insecurity continues, with fighting reported in rural areas and around Mekelle, Shiraro and Shire, as of last week.

Access to most parts of north-western, eastern and central Tigray remains constrained due to the ongoing insecurity and bureaucratic hurdles. Two of the four refugee camps in the region (Hitsats and Shimelba) are still not accessible.

OCHA and the Logistics Cluster, led by WFP, continue to closely work with the relevant authorities to streamline the assessment and cargo clearance mechanism, enabling a 48 hour clearance process, and ensuring safe and secure access to Tigray and bordering areas in Amhara and Afar regions.

As of 4 January, 61 per cent of cargo and mission requests have been cleared, but the clearance process took between 5 and 10 days. In some cases, partners could not travel to Tigray due to additional bureaucratic constraints at regional and local levels, despite clearance received from federal authorities.

The UN estimates that 2.3 million people are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance in Tigray, including 1.3 million additional people due to the conflict and more than 950,000 existing people, including refugees.

While the UN continues to seek full and unhindered access, it has shared its best estimation of people in need based on data collected pre-conflict and during conflict.

The UN continues to assess the situation and these figures are likely to evolve in the coming period as further information becomes available and teams are able to access more locations to verify the situation on the ground.