Ethiopia – Tigray Region Humanitarian Update Situation Report, 22 December 2020
• Tigray Region’s security situation remains volatile with reports of localized fighting between federal forces and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).
• The Ethiopian Government has reported dispatching relief commodities to IDPs and refugees in Tigray Region.
• The first convoy with international aid arrived in Mekelle on 12 December, carrying drugs and supplies from the ICRC and the Ethiopian Red Cross Society (ERCS).
• WFP also delivered food for 35,000 refugees in Adi Harush and Mai Ayni camps on 21 December.
• Humanitarian partners have updated the Humanitarian Response Plan for Northern Ethiopia. The plan seeks $116.5 million to address the immediate needs of about 2.3 million people.
The security situation in areas recently affected by conflict in northern Ethiopia remains volatile with reports of localized fighting between federal forces and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, and affiliated militias on both sides. Humanitarian access is still limited, with the most affected people having received no assistance for the sixth week since the conflict broke out. However, the National Disaster Risk Management Commission (NDRMC) has reported ongoing food assistance in parts of Tigray last week. At the same time, the first convoy of international aid organized by Ethiopian authorities, the Ethiopian Red Cross and ICRC arrived in Mekelle City on 12 December.
Similarly, on 20 December, the Director of the Agency for Refugees and Returnees Affair (ARRA) stated that emergency food supplies and other relief commodities were distributed to Eritrean refugees in Adi-Harush and Mai-Ayini camps in Tigray. The agency also informed that some 460 Eritrean refugees were so far safely returned from Addis Ababa back to the refugee camps in Tigray. IOM has called on States to ensure the protection of all civilians, including migrants and refugees in line with International Law and its Conventions, including the Principle of Non-Refoulement. In addition, ARRA stated that it is working to prevent irregular migration as the area is one of the major routes for human traffickers.
Meanwhile, two inter-agency assessment teams entered Tigray on 21 December following an official approval from the federal Government on Saturday, 19 December. One team is destined to Shire and another to Mekelle. The assessment is expected to be completed in one week. Humanitarians expect dire humanitarian situation in visited areas.
Humanitarian organizations continue to engage with the Government of Ethiopia and all relevant interlocutors for the safe passage of humanitarian personnel and supplies to all parts of Tigray Region and to reach people who need assistance in accordance with the globally agreed principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence.
OCHA together with the Logistic Cluster, agreed with the Ministry of Peace (MoP) and the National Disaster Risk Management Commission (NDRMC) on an Humanitarian Information Sharing Mechanism (HISM). The HISM is set up temporarily to facilitate access, movements, safety and security of the humanitarian assets, personnel and activities in Tigray Region, including the border areas where there may be people-in-need. OCHA and the Logistics Cluster serve as the interlocutors between humanitarian organizations and the focal points assigned by NDRMC. This mechanism is without prejudice to Ethiopia’s responsibility to uphold its obligations under national and international laws.
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs