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Daily Noon Briefing Highlights-Ethiopia-Lebanon

03 Aug 2021

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Eleven teams from nine countries were deployed to support in search and rescue operation by the International Search and Rescue Advisory Group  following the explosions in Beirut in 2020. Credit: OCHA

Daily Noon Briefing Highlights – 3 August 2021

Ethiopia

Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Martin Griffiths, is ending his mission today in Addis Ababa where he has met with the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Demeke Mekonnen Hassen, as well as UN and heads of agencies and international non-government organizations (INGOs) and OCHA staff.

Meanwhile, the humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate across the Amhara region due to ongoing regional and ethnic conflicts, flash floods, and food insecurity.

In Amhara, intercommunal conflicts in the Central Gondar zone, and in the Awi zone, continue to increase the number of internally displaced persons.

Worsening conflict along the Amhara-Tigray regional border is further increasing displacement, with an estimated 100,000 internally displaced people in various pockets across the region.

Access to populations close to the Amhara-Tigray regional border and the Amhara-Benishangul Gumuz regional border is difficult due to ongoing conflict and tensions. 

UN agencies are supporting our partners and government counterparts throughout Amhara, including in health and nutrition and cash programmes. INGO partners are providing water, sanitation and hygiene services in the western Amhara and mobile clinics in North Gondar.

Response, however, remains insufficient to meet increasing humanitarian needs, with limited humanitarian presence in the region.

Immediate resource mobilization is required to meet the urgent needs of affected communities. Emergency shelter, food and non-food items are the key priorities. Pre-positioning of supplies particularly for health, nutrition, shelter, and protection is urgently required.

Lebanon

The United Nations remains deeply concerned about the worsening humanitarian situation in Lebanon.

The country is grappling with economic and financial meltdown, COVID-19, the disastrous impact and aftermath of the Beirut Port explosions a year ago, and the continued impact of the Syrian crisis. Political deadlock continues to fuel popular protests and is hampering meaningful reform and recovery efforts.

The situation of ordinary people in Lebanon is worsening day by day. Food prices increased by a staggering 400 per cent between January and December 2020.

Humanitarian needs are increasing among Lebanese and migrants, including in food security and nutrition, health, protection, education and water and sanitation. At the end of 2020, 19 per cent of Lebanese nationals reported the loss of their main sources of income.  In March 2021, 78 per cent of the population (3 million people) were estimated to be in poverty. An estimated 36 per cent of the Lebanese population (1.38 million) are facing extreme poverty.

In parallel, nine out of ten Syrian refugee families live in extreme poverty, increasing from 55 per cent only a year before. The situation is most acute for female-headed households. The estimated 210,000 migrants in Lebanon, who are predominantly female, face high rates of unemployment, food and shelter insecurity, and poor access to drinking water.

At the same time, basic services such as fuel, electricity, healthcare, and clean water, are in short supply.  Most of these services were previously provided through the private sector which is already overstretched due to years of under investment. The UN and its humanitarian partners are working to mitigate the effects of the crisis, including through humanitarian response until an inclusive social protection system is in place.