The ongoing conflict in northern Ethiopia has led to the additional displacement of around 574,000 people in Afar, Amhara and Tigray since fighting resumed in late August. Insecurity and restrictions on the flow of aid continue to limit the humanitarian response in the three regions.
Despite a difficult operating environment in September, UNICEF supported the provision of primary health care services to 23,062 children and women in Tigray, Afar and Amhara.
During the reporting period, UNICEF delivered over 100,000 cartons of RUTF and approximately 2,000 cartons of therapeutic milk across Ethiopia, enough to provide children with critical SAM treatment through December.
UNICEF and partners reached nearly 500,000 drought-affected children in Oromia and Somalia with routine measles vaccinations in September.
Situation in figures
people in need (2022 HNO)
children in need of humanitarian aid
Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs)
pending and registered refugees
(UNHCR, September 30, 2022)
Overview of Funding and Partnerships
UNICEF Humanitarian Action for Children (HAC) 2022 currently requires $532.3 million to meet the critical humanitarian needs of children, adolescents, women and men in Ethiopia. This represents an increase of more than $281 million compared to 2021, mainly due to the expansion of the conflict in northern Ethiopia, increased needs due to climatic shocks, including severe drought, crop failures, public health emergencies and worsening food insecurity across the country. To date, $201.6 million has been received for the appeal, representing, with the carry over to 2021, only 38% of the needs required to reach children and their families with life-saving support.
Under the appeal, dedicated funding for the Northern Ethiopia Response Plan is budgeted at $223.1 million and fully integrated into the HAC. In addition, due to the severe drought which affected nearly 17 million people in four regions, an additional $202.9 million within the HAC was spent on drought response. UNICEF is appealing for help to close the remaining gaps and ensure that children and their caregivers receive life-saving support.
UNICEF expresses its sincere gratitude to the many donors who have already provided critical support to UNICEF’s HAC, including Australia, Canada, Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), China, Denmark , European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), Finland, France. , Germany, Japan, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, UK Aid, United Arab Emirates, USAID, Ethiopian Humanitarian Fund (EHF) and donor contributions from the private sector through UNICEF National Committees.
Overview of the situation and humanitarian needs
The ongoing conflict in northern Ethiopia has led to an increasingly unstable security environment and a deterioration of the humanitarian situation in the Afar, Amhara and Tigray regions. Continued airstrikes and shelling on multiple fronts are driving further displacement along the northern Tigray border, where more than 210,000 people have been newly displaced since fighting resumed in late August. A comprehensive humanitarian response to new and existing displacements in Tigray remains hampered by insecurity and limited access, where restrictions on the movement of humanitarian supplies, cash, fuel and personnel – by land and air – in the region limit critical health, WASH, nutrition and education program interventions, among others. For example, there was an approximately 84% reduction in the number of children and pregnant and lactating women (PLW) accessing primary health care services in Tigray from August to September. In addition, a UNICEF-led Find and Treat campaign in three woredas in Tigray revealed global acute malnutrition (GAM) and severe acute malnutrition (SAM) rates of 30.1% and 7.2%, respectively ; however, insufficient nutritional supplies in the region, as well as the inability of partners to access operational sites, could lead to a shortage of life-saving nutritional services and an increase in malnutrition rates in the coming weeks.
In Afar, 163,709 people were newly displaced from conflict-affected woredas in Zones 2, 3 and 4 bordering Tigray, as of 30 September, representing a more than thirty-fold increase in the number of displacements due to the conflict in northern Ethiopia since the fighting. resumed. In addition to access constraints, health services in Afar are disrupted by a shortage of medical supplies to treat acute and chronic illnesses, especially among newly displaced populations. In Amhara, more than 200,000 people in North Wollo and Wag Hemra areas have been newly displaced, bringing the total number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the region to over 1.1 million. Additionally, in conflict-affected areas of the region, 180 health posts, 39 health centers and one primary hospital are not functioning, disrupting health services for approximately 340,000 children and PLW. The escalation of conflict has also had a significant negative impact on education services in North Wollo, North and West Gondar and Wag Hemra, where 625 schools are closed, leaving more than 500,000 children without access. to education.
Meanwhile, the effects of drought and conflict continue to converge in eastern and southern Ethiopia, causing displacement and disrupting the livelihoods of pastoralists and agro-pastoralists in the regions of Oromia, Somalia and Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples (SNNP), South West and Sidama. Drought and ongoing conflict between Unidentified Armed Groups (UAGs) in Oromia has led to the displacement of nearly 1.5 million people, an increase in the number of SAM cases and an increase in protection issues, such as marriage early, among displaced children. In addition, ten drought-prone areas in the region continue to receive below-average to no rainfall, leaving more than 1.6 million people in dire need of water supplies.
The deterioration of access conditions in the southern areas of Somalia, notably Afder and Shebelle, due to an incursion by Al-Shabaab in July and August, improved during the reporting period, leading to a recovery essential programs in drought-affected areas; However, a border dispute between armed groups in the Somali and Afar regions has generated a new wave of internally displaced people in the Sitti area, where hundreds of thousands of people have taken refuge in makeshift sites and are in need of essential assistance in nutrition, WASH and protection. Furthermore, a recent Belg assessment of the SNNP, South West and Sidama regions revealed that nearly 4.4 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance due to drought and recurrent inter-communal violence in the three regions, with more than 2.4 million people in need of immediate WASH assistance.
In addition, continued heavy rains in the Gambella region throughout September exacerbated the floods that started during the Kiremt rainy season from June to August. Ongoing floods in the region have affected over 250,000 people, including 36,000 children, in nine woredas and displaced over 75,000 people, including 10,000 children. In addition, the floods completely or partially damaged 117 schools, while 21 schools serve as temporary shelters for displaced people, interrupting the education of nearly 60,000 children. According to the Regional Disaster Risk Management Commission (DRMC) and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the most urgent needs among the displaced people in Gambella include food, shelter, WASH, health and nutritional assistance. Periods of intense rainfall also lead to flash floods in four areas near the Awash River in Afar, which displaced 59,440 people by the end of the reporting period.
While the general security situation in Benishangul Gumuz remained relatively calm in September, active fighting in several woredas in Kemashi and Metekel areas, as well as in Mao-Komo special woreda, continues to prevent humanitarian organizations to carry out assistance activities. At the end of the reporting period, the regional DRMC reports that there are more than 440,000 displaced people in the region, almost a quarter of whom are children under five and PLW.