The Tigray Emergency Coordination Center has released its bi-weekly update on conditions in Tigray. This edition shows a gradual deterioration of conditions from bad to worse due primarily to the suspension of food distribution and the inability to facilitate the return of IDP populations. The action points for the next meeting includes “presentation of the food security assessment.” It is concerning that the food security assessment would be presented at this late stage as the data would no longer valid after two months of suspended food aid. Highlights of the report are below:
Interagency Humanitarian Mission: (sic) Tataye Adediyabo, AdiAwala, Sheraro, Rama (May 24-27, 2023)
- (NB. These assessment are poor quality in comparison to those performed earlier and suppressed by the UNHCR.)
- OCHA reports “significant improvement” in access.
- Gemhalo, Aditsetser, and Badme kebeles remain “hard to reach.” (NB. This means illegally blocked by occupying forces. OCHA is hiding a crime against humanity with this terminology.)
- OCHA claims that the ENDF are in Sheraro and ensuring access to NW and Central zones.
- In Ademeyti (Sic) and Rama returnees are unable to farm due to the presence of Eritrean forces and UXO.
- Rama is still hosting 2,900 IDPs from the Western Zone and the assessment team observed that at least one health center was currently occupied by the ENDF.
Interagency Humanitarian Mission: (sic) Erob, Gulomekda, and Zalanbesa (May 09-15, 2023)
- (NB. This assessment did not include any information about the conditions of the people living in any of these places. This is consistent with the OCHA’s bad operating practices.)
- ICRC is providing health services in Zalanbesa town
- Farming tools have been distributed in parts of Erob and Gulomekda.
- Around 884 households have returned to parts of Erob that are not occupied.
- An estimated 6,000 people are living in Zalanbesa.
Cluster Reports: Food Cluster
- No meaningful change from the previous report. Food distribution is still suspended with no update on when it will resume.
- Planning improvements on food distribution noted, but no information about the current status of the plans.
- The first official visit of the EDRMC was made at the end of June, nearly six months after the cessation of hostilities.
- Report notes that Tigray is entering the peak hunger season (June to November) without any food assistance.
- Zero people received food assistance in May 2023.
- Joint verification needed to investigate reports of starvation related deaths in Tigray.
Cluster Reports: Logistics
- Gondar and Kombolcha corridors continues to be blocked by armed groups. Semera to Mekelle route appears passable, with security concerns.
- Between May 19 and June 1, only 10 aid trucks entered Tigray. The total number of trucks in May is 30.
- EDRMC lifted the requirement of support letters for aid transport on April 28.
Cluster Reports: Education
- A total of 552 schools are not able to open due to the presence of “armed groups from outside the region” and 110 schools are housing IDPs.
- Education has resumed in 1,377 schools in 74 woredas with 80-85% of teachers reporting, but low enrollment is reported.
- Mine clearance has been conducted in over 1,700 schools with over 8,000 UXOs found. (NB: Subsequent table says only 1,550)
- Nearly 27,000 children in Shire (20,300) and Sheraro (6,155) cannot attend school because they are housing IDPs.
- School feeding is available for 4,447 of the 20,000 students targeted. WFP is “ready to launch” school feeding in areas of the Central Zone. (NB: No reason given for why this has not happened.)
Cluster Report: Agriculture
- The main meher season is starting with only 30% of land preparation completed.
- Reasons include lack of inputs, loss of draught animals, tractors, farm tools.
- Some tractors have been made available, but the cost of using them is prohibitive for farmers.
- Agriculture inputs are well below demands, gaps include:
- Fertilizer: 43% gap
- Seeds (Main Crops): 50% gap
- Seeds (Vegetables): 60% gap
- Pest infestation and plant diseases are expected to be a significant challenge with no preventative materials available.
Cluster Report: Nutrition
- In the past two weeks 128K children (under 5) screened for malnutrition, of which 22% were wasted; 22,533 pregnant or lactating women were screened, of which 71% were acutely malnourished.
- In the past two weeks 3,625 children under 5 were admitted with Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM), of which 278 were admitted into inpatient care. (NB: This is a sharp increase from the last period where 171 were admitted into inpatient care for SAM.
- Due to a gap in funding, the nutrition response is only covering 44 woredas, this down 1/3 from Jan-Mar.
- A nutritional survey is being planned.
- Remaining challenges include the suspension of food aid, lack of funding, and damaged health facilities.
Cluster Report: Health
- In week 21, the largest number of new malaria cases were reported (6,593). Report notes a lack of funding for treatment and prevention.
- 91 suspected cases of anthrax
- Zoonotic diseases are major causes of morbidity and mortality.
- Challenges include significant gaps in medicine, basic medical supplies like gauze, IV fluids, IV antibiotics, testing materials, ambulances; lack of access to health facilities around Tigray’s borders.
Cluster Report: CCCM
- Food remains the #1 need for IDPs, followed by NFI
- Most IDP are reluctant to move to new IDP sites, citing lack of food and other supplies.
- Overcrowding at IDP sites are causing dangerous levels of vulnerability to contagious disease, GBV, resource conflict; children showing rashes and other illnesses consistent with overcrowding and lack of hygiene.
- Contingency plans are being prepared to help IDPs survive the rainy season without sufficient supplies.
- Due to the lack of food and services, at least two service providers have been asked to leave IDP hosting sites by IDPs.
Cluster Report: Protection
- Provision of dignity kits is minimal (300 distributed in past two weeks)
- A total of 79 children were reunified with their families.
- Pause in food aid creating complex problems for IDPs, particularly those with chronic illnesses or disabilities.
- Some woredas have no GBV partner presence, despite high numbers of fistula cases reported by MSF mobile clinics.
- Due to food scarcity, IDPs have been forced to engage in survival sex and have reported unintended pregnancies and STI/HIV infections.
Summary done by Duke Burbridge