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Daily Noon Briefing Highlights: Ethiopia - Yemen

12 Mar 2021


A refugee from Ethiopia stands in her temporary shelter at Hamdayet border reception centre in Sudan, November 2020. © UNHCR/Will Swanson

Daily Noon Briefing Highlights – 12 March 2021


The humanitarian situation in Tigray remains extremely concerning, with conflict continuing to drive population displacement and reports of some villages being completely emptied. Over the past week, a large influx of displaced people has reached Shire from Western Tigray.

Following the announcement by the Office of the Prime Minister that humanitarian agencies will have access to operate in Tigray on the basis of notifications to the Ministry of Peace, humanitarian partners have started to use the new email notification system to deploy international staff to Tigray.

Humanitarian organizations have also this week started using a new system to inform the Government of the movement of cargo, with a notification being sent 48 hours in advance of movement with no further clearance from the Government required.

Despite some progress in accessible areas, especially in the Eastern zone, many people in need of assistance are in hard-to-reach areas due to insecurity, logistical hurdles, administrative impediments and limited capacity and resources. In many areas, very limited assistance and services are available to communities affected by the conflict, which is now in its fourth month.

Disruptions in basic services, such as communications, banking services and electricity, continue to pose serious challenges to humanitarian efforts, while putting people further at risk. Access to health, water, education, food and farming and livelihood opportunities is severely compromised throughout the region.

With partners able to access hundreds of thousands of people in Tigray who are in desperate need, and to move more supplies and personnel into the region, it is vital that additional funding be released immediately to enable humanitarians to increase the scale and scope of the response. While access remains highly complex, partners are delivering desperately needed and life-saving assistance and we must ensure they are fully resourced to do so.



OCHA warns that the humanitarian situation is worsening in Marib Governorate, Yemen, with fighting continuing along multiple front lines.

The violence has forced up to 15,000 people to flee since early February. Roughly 60 per cent of them are reportedly residing in informal settlements and crowded sites where services are overstretched.

Humanitarian organizations are providing assistance, including support to both newly displaced and existing vulnerable internally displaced people in camp-like settings. There are 25 humanitarian organizations currently operating on the ground [7 UN agencies, 6 international NGOs and 12 national NGOs].

Hostilities have also escalated in other parts of the country, including in Taiz resulting in multiple civilian casualties and damage to civilian infrastructure.

Across Yemen, 20.7 million people need humanitarian assistance, many of them at the brink of starvation. They are the ones who are paying the highest price in this war. The UN continues to call for an immediate end to hostilities and a nationwide ceasefire.

Urgent support is also needed for the humanitarian response.

On 1 March, donors pledged US$1.7 billion for the response, less than half of what aid agencies need this year.

The UN is specifically concerned about support for the Yemen Humanitarian Fund, which supports dozens of humanitarian partners and is one of the largest sources of direct funding for national NGOs. So far in 2021, only $40 million has been pledged for the Fund, compared with $170 million contributed two years ago.