The extension of the crisis in northern Ethiopia beyond Tigray in the neighboring Afar and Amhara regions has caused great repression and created a new wave of humanitarian needs. Now, 26.3 million people across Ethiopia are in need. This includes 14 million children, 6 million women and 4.3 million people with a disability. Of these, 4 million people will be displaced – an increase in the number of IDPs by 1.3 million since April 2021.
To save lives, UNICEF is implementing a rapid response mechanism to accelerate the delivery of life-saving supplies and support to hard-to-reach, vulnerable populations in all regions of the country.
To address the escalating crisis in northern Ethiopia, UNICEF is expanding its partnerships, sending emergency relief supplies to government and NGO partners, and establishing facilities for immediate use as needed in all three regions affected by the conflict, including ready-to-use therapeutic food and water, sanitary and hygiene non-food items, and through the efforts of Mobile Health and Nutrition Teams.
UNICEF calls on US $ 248.3 million to reach 6.9 million people and more than 3.7 million children in Ethiopia with humanitarian aid by 2021. This includes the revised UNICEF response plan for Northern Ethiopia in 2021 (Tigray , Afar and Amhara) to scale up targets and budgets – with a funding requirement of US $ 108 million.
HUMAN SITUATION AND NEEDS
The complex humanitarian situation in Ethiopia has intensified in recent months with increasing overlapping crises, which are exacerbating an already challenging context and situation for children and women across the country. The latest recent data show that almost 26.3 million people are currently in need of humanitarian assistance, up from 23.5 million in February 2021. This includes 14 million children, 6 million women and 4.1 million people with a disability. Revised funding requirements have arisen from the escalation of the conflict in Tigray in the neighboring regions of Amhara and Afar, which have seen an increase in displacement of 797,608 displaced persons in April 2021 to date more than 2.1 million people in these three regions alone – an increase of 164 percent. Evaluations conducted in the regions indicate that the conflict has led to the widespread destruction of health facilities, occupation of schools by displaced persons, and lack of communication services, electricity, water, fuel and cash. The major challenges at present include lack of access to food and nutrition, water, shelter and protection.
Further to the very complex situation for populations in the north, there are persistent acts of inter-municipal violence and conflict mostly along ethnic and political lines in Amhara, Oromia, Somali, Benishangul-Gumuz and Gambella, as well as growing food insecurity- with an estimated 500,000 people for IPC 5 famine and daily increases in COVID-19 cases nationwide, along with cases of cholera, measles and vaccine-induced polio nationwide.
As a combined result of conflict, displacement, food insecurity, natural disasters and disease outbreaks, children in Ethiopia are confronted with alarming multidimensional poverty, violence and lack of access to critical services to ensure their well-being including protection and education. Women and girls are at particular risk of gender-based violence and harmful practices. The risks to those they face are increasingly diminishing a decade of gains in improving the liveability of children in Ethiopia.
The Inter-Humanitarian Response Plan and Northern Ethiopia Response Plan are being revised simultaneously to reflect the growing needs of populations due to the national aggravating needs. Preliminary estimates suggest that nearly 3 million additional people have needed humanitarian aid since April this year, including nearly 1.5 million more children, and that an additional 1.3 million people have been displaced in the north.
Available resources to respond to the humanitarian needs in Ethiopia are inadequate and risk leaving millions of children, women and men without the supplies and services they need to survive.