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Daily Noon Briefing Highlights: Ethiopia - Myanmar - Sierra Leone

08 Nov 2021


A food distribution for people in the Afar region of Ethiopia. © WFP/Claire Nevill

Daily Noon Briefing Highlights – 8 November 2021


The Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Martin Griffiths, will conclude a four-day visit to Ethiopia today. 

Yesterday, he visited Mekelle, in Tigray region, where he met with women affected by the conflict and with humanitarian partners. He also engaged with de facto authorities on the need for humanitarian access, protection of civilians through all areas under their control, and respect for humanitarian principles. 

Today in Addis, Mr. Griffiths met again with the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs to identify means of improving humanitarian access and aid to all people in need across Ethiopia.

Conflict, large-scale displacement, drought, flooding, disease outbreaks and desert locust infestation continue to drive humanitarian needs across Ethiopia. Some 20 million people have been targeted for humanitarian assistance, including 7 million who are directly affected by the conflict in northern Ethiopia.

The funding gap for the humanitarian response in Ethiopia for 2021 stands at more than US$1.3 billion. An estimated $606 million has been mobilized for response towards the Northern Ethiopia Response Plan, and $474 million for response towards the draft Humanitarian Response Plan, which covers areas outside Tigray. However, this is far from sufficient to cover the mounting humanitarian needs.


This morning, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Martin Griffiths, released a statement regarding increasing violence and humanitarian needs in Myanmar.

He said that the humanitarian situation in Myanmar is deteriorating. Across the country, there are now more than 3 million people in need of humanitarian aid because of growing conflict and insecurity, COVID-19 and a failing economy. Without an end to violence and a peaceful resolution of Myanmar’s crisis, this number will only rise.

Since the armed forces’ takeover on February 1 this year, hundreds of thousands of people have been forced to flee their homes by violence across the country, and 223,000 people remain internally displaced. This includes 165,000 in the south-east of country, and is on top of a significant population of people who were already displaced in Rakhine, Chin, Shan and Kachin states prior to the takeover.

Long-term displacement remains unresolved, with 144,000 Rohingya people still confined to camps and camp-like settings in Rakhine, many since their displacement in 2012, and more than 105,000 people displaced in Kachin and Shan, many for years. The humanitarian chief also expressed concerns about reports of rising levels of food insecurity in and around urban areas, including in Yangon and Mandalay.

So far this year, humanitarian workers have reached more than 1.67 million people in need across Myanmar with food, cash and nutrition assistance. They stand ready to do more but remain constrained by a lack of humanitarian access and funds. 

Mr. Griffiths also called on the international community to fund the response in Myanmar. Less than half of the $385 million required under the Humanitarian Response Plan and Interim Emergency Response Plan launched after the armed forces’ takeover has been received. 

His full statement is available online.

Sierra Leone

On 5 November, a fuel tanker explosion killed about 100 people in Freetown. 

According to news reports, more than 90 people are being treated in hospitals and health facilities.

The UN family in Sierra Leone is closely monitoring the situation and is working with the Government to overcome the consequences of this disaster. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) is supporting health-care facilities by mobilizing specialized supplies. WHO is also working to deploy experts who help to provide care for burn victims.