Ethiopia: Refugees and Returnees Service – Statement in Response to Accounts by UNHCR and UNOCHA (25.01.2022)

Ethiopia: Tigray External Affairs Office – Press Statement on Current Developments (25.01.2022)

Ethiopia: Tigray External Affairs Office – Statement on the Persistent Obstruction of Humanitarian Aid by the Federal Government of Ethiopia (24.01.2022)

Ethiopia: Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Updates on medical and other essential supplies to the Tigray region (23.01.2022)

Ethiopia: A fresh OCHA Report states the continued blockade of humanitarian assistance to the Tigray region

Northern Ethiopia – Access Map of January 2022

The humanitarian preparedness and response operations in Northern Ethiopia continue to be significantly restricted by several factors, including conflict and bureaucratic impediments such as the inability to bring sufficient supplies, fuel, and cash to Tigray, the high number of people in need, limited access to people in hard-to-reach areas due to insecurity, limited presence of partners on the ground, especially in Afar, and lack of funding” (OCHA, 20.01.2022).

No surprise here after months upon end with little to no efforts from the state to patch the hurt or the damages done in the northern Ethiopia. This is deliberate actions of the Prime Minister and his Tripartite Alliance, as they are punishing a whole region and nearby areas in the conflict started in November 2020. The weaponized famine and starvation is clearly tabled by the authorities and their allies, as they are pinning all blame on the victims, as they are doing it.

The OCHA report of 20 January 2022 is as dark and grim as these has been. There is little to no movement and it isn’t becoming better. Just a few statements from the OCHA report shows the efforts and what is achieved by the state in this region. They are only allowing certain humanitarian assistance to get to Amhara and Afar regions, but not to reach the battle-torn Tigray region. Therefore, the “unity” of Ethiopia is half-assed or not a legit concern of those in power at this point. As it seems the rest of Ethiopia is their citizens, but the Tigray can suffer, because they have the ability to harm them as whole.

OCHA further states: “UNHAS continues to operate two flights per week between Addis Ababa and Mekelle in Tigray. No humanitarian workers were cleared to travel by road from Semera to Mekelle since 28 October. A limited amount of operational cash was transferred on UNHAS flights, but this remains below the amount of cash needed to support operations and programs and provide a meaningful response at the required scale. The limit of ETB 2 million per agency per week remains in effect. Between 6-12 January, about 10,500 people were reached with food assistance in Adet and Naeder woredas in Tigray under the current food distribution cycle. Cumulatively, partners have assisted about 495,000 people in Tigray in the last three months (from mid-October-12 January) under the current round, whereas 870,000 people need to be reached every week so that the 5.2 million people targeted receive food during the six weeks food distribution cycle” (OCHA, 20.01.2022).

It also states: “The transport of humanitarian supplies into Tigray, via the Semera-Abala-Mekelle corridor, remain on halt since 14 December due to the ongoing fighting in Abala. Meanwhile, 68 trucks of humanitarian supplies are in the dry port in Semera waiting to proceed to Mekelle. This includes more than 2,400 metric tons (MT) of food, nutrition, WASH, NFI, health, and protection items such as dignity kits for women and adolescent girls. Trucks are offloaded in the warehouse in Semera until convoys’ movement resumes. Overall, 1,338 trucks have entered the region since 12 July, which represents less than 10 per cent of the required supplies needed to meet the vast scale of humanitarian needs of 5.2 million people, or 90 per cent of the population in Tigray. Four tankers carrying more than 155,000 liters of fuel are also awaiting approvals in Semera. No fuel for humanitarian operations has been allowed into Tigray since 2 August, except for two WFP trucks. As partners are unable to receive sufficient fuel loans locally, they have no choice but to reduce, postpone or cancel critical distributions such as food, medicine, and nutrition interventions. Consequently, the scale of food distributions has reached an all-time low in Tigray as food stocks and fuel have almost been entirely exhausted. Food assistance partners are facing severe fuel shortages with less than 5,000 litres of fuel (excluding contingency stock) available as of 18 January. Partners who had been forced to suspend dispatch more than a month ago were only able to resume on 15 January with some limited amount of fuel they received locally. Other partners have suspended food dispatch as their transporters could no longer access fuel locally. As of 18 January, partners reported around 1,200 MT of food commodities available within Tigray, out of which, there is only enough stock to feed around 28,400 people with a complete three-commodity common food basket for one round. WFP reported that stocks of nutritionally fortified food for the treatment of malnourished children and women are now exhausted, while the last cereals, pulses and oil are distributed” (OCHA, 20.01.2022).

When you read those texts from OCHA and their reports. The efforts, the thwarted transports and the hurdles made by the state is very obvious. This is done in such a speed and lack of concern. That people are dying and the humanitarian assistance isn’t reaching. The levels of assistance and transports cannot even contain the bare minimum. That shows the sinister and brutal side of the Federal Government of Ethiopia. They want people to die and not feed the citizens of the Tigray region. This is the message it sends and this should be made war-crimes cases for. As innocent civilians in need dies, because of bureaucratic hurdles created by the Addis Ababa elite. That is the truth here and millions are pawns in a political gambit of one warlord and Prime Minister.

They are stopping people from eating and getting treatment… and that is done for months on end. This is an reaction to the besieged region and war-torn Tigray region, which is drone-and air-strikes on the daily too. The state is never giving it peace or ability to heal. They are not even letting petrol or any other basic commodities enter there too. We know the PM hates “wheat-aid” and he clearly wants to punish anyone who doesn’t have blind loyalty to him. That’s why his punishing the Tigray region…

That’s how I read this deliberate act of the state and it’s disgrace… it should be illegal and be internationally sanctioned to do this to the ones in need. There should be mechanisms, which not only charge, but punish leaders who does this out of spite and acts with such evil against own civilians. Peace.

Ethiopia: Security and Justice for Tigrayans (SJT) – Weaponized famine used as a tool of war is creating hell in Tigray, Ethiopia (18.01.2022)

Ethiopia: Ethiopia Catholic Church-Social and Development Commission Adigrat Branch – Subject: Situation Updating on the Worsening Situation in Tigray (17.01.2022)

Ethiopia: Dwindling medical supplies in northern Ethiopia prevent health workers from aiding those in need (18.01.2022)

The ICRC is profoundly concerned over availability of medical treatment, including medicine and medical equipment.

MOPTI, Mali, January 18, 2022 – As the conflict in northern Ethiopia continues to evolve, hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced, putting enormous strain on the region’s health-care system and medical staff.

The ICRC is profoundly concerned over availability of medical treatment, including medicine and medical equipment. Health-care services are lacking essential medical supplies, and in some cases infrastructure has been severely damaged. This makes access to health care very challenging, depriving people of the essentials they need to survive.

The ICRC is adapting its assistance efforts with a focus on the most vulnerable. However, our capacity to respond has become limited as medical supplies dwindle, with delivery of humanitarian assistance seriously hampered by a combination of fighting, insecurity and access constraints.

“Some hospitals in Amhara have closed due to lack of medicines,” said Micha Wedekind, who is in charge of the ICRC’s response in Amhara and Afar. “People with chronic diseases are dying every day and women are giving birth at home as health facilities are not functional and often without electricity or water.”

“In Tigray, single-use items such as gloves, surgical materials and even chest drains are being washed and reused, increasing the risk of infections. In some places, doctors have replaced disinfectant by salt to clean wounds,” said Apollo Barasa, the health coordinator at the ICRC delegation in Ethiopia. “Patients are receiving expired medications, oxygen plants are not working anymore, and some health facilities cannot provide routine vaccines.

The ICRC reminds all parties to the conflict that they must facilitate without delay the delivery of humanitarian assistance to those who need it most.

Our medical support this month has included to seven health care facilities around Dessie, including Hayk, Mersa, Woldiya and Kobo. Throughout 2021, together with the Ethiopian Red Cross Society, the ICRC supported 130 health facilities in Amhara, Afar, Tigray, Oromia and Somali region. More than 110,000 people have benefited from our medical programs and 9,800 persons received physiotherapy and mobility treatment.

Beyond medical assistance, the ICRC continues to be concerned over the food and livelihood situation in northern Ethiopia. Last week our teams were able to bring humanitarian assistance to communities in Lalibela, Amhara, for the first time in six months, providing 2,500 people with food and 6,000 people with household items such as mattresses, jerrycans, kitchen sets and solar lamps. In Mekelle, the ICRC has distributed essential household and hygiene items to more than 900 displaced people.

Finally, whilst maintaining our operations in the area, the ICRC is deeply concerned by recent reports of continued fighting in northern Ethiopia causing civilian casualties, including in recent airstrikes.

We call upon all parties to the conflict to respect the rules and obligation of international humanitarian law, which provide that civilians are protected against attack and that everything feasible must be done to verify that targets are military objectives. To the extent feasible, civilians must also be removed from the vicinity of military objectives.

In 2021, the ICRC has:

– Assisted 655,000 people with household supplies, shelter and cash throughout the country, with a focus on northern Ethiopia
– Provided 875,000 people with agricultural and livestock assistance
– Facilitated access to clean water and sanitations to 1,950,000 people, including in places of detention
– Helped over 169,000 people restore or maintain family links, facilitating exchange of news by family members.

Ethiopia: Tigray Human Rights Forum – Statement on the Mass Detention of Tigrayans in Ethiopia (14.01.2022)

Ethiopia: World Food Programme (WFP) – No food, no fuel, no funding: WFP’s northern Ethiopia operations grinding to a halt (14.01.2022)

Stocks of nutritionally fortified food for the treatment of malnourished children and women are now exhausted.

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, January 14, 2022 – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today warned that its life-saving food assistance operations in northern Ethiopia are about to grind to a halt because intense fighting has blocked the passage of fuel and food.

The escalation of conflict across northern Ethiopia means that no WFP convoy has reached Mekelle since mid-December. Stocks of nutritionally fortified food for the treatment of malnourished children and women are now exhausted, and the last of WFP’s cereals, pulses and oil will be distributed next week.

“We’re now having to choose who goes hungry to prevent another from starving,” said Michael Dunford, WFP’s Regional Director for Eastern Africa.

“We need immediate guarantees from all parties to the conflict for safe and secure humanitarian corridors, via all routes, across northern Ethiopia. Humanitarian supplies are simply not flowing at the pace and scale needed. The lack of both food and fuel means we’ve only been able to reach 20% of those we should have in this latest distribution in Tigray. We’re on the edge of a humanitarian disaster.”

More than a year into the conflict in northern Ethiopia, an estimated 9.4 million people require humanitarian food assistance. This is an increase of 2.7 million from just four months ago, the highest number yet. At the same time, because of fighting, food distributions are at an all-time low.

WFP plans to reach 2.1 million people with food assistance in Tigray; 650,000 in Amhara; and 534,000 in Afar Region.

WFP also warns it will likely run out of food and nutrition supplies for millions of people across all of Ethiopia from next month due to an unprecedented lack of funding. WFP is calling for an additional US$337 million to deliver its emergency food assistance response in Northern Ethiopia and US$170 million to reach those affected by severe drought in Somali region over the next six months.

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