UNHCR warns humanitarian situation continues to seriously impact refugees

UNHCR logo
UNHCR logo

The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has warned that the humanitarian situation across northern Ethiopia continues to seriously impact refugees, the internally displaced persons (IDPs) and host communities.

The UN Refugee Agency, in its latest Ethiopia emergency situation update issued late Monday, said “civilians have endured over one year of conflict with extremely limited basic services and assistance available, leading to a significant escalation in humanitarian needs with ongoing new displacements.”

In Ethiopia’s northernmost conflict-affected Tigray region, the UNHCR said its partners have resumed operations in the two camps of Mai Ani and Adi Harush following an improvement in the security and access into the region as well as UNHCR’s selection of new partners.

It said Innovative Humanitarian Solution (IHS) have commenced child-friendly space activities and established child protection community-based structures.

In the Amhara region, as of May 30, the Eritrean refugee population in Alemwach stood at 11,130 individuals, most of whom have relocated themselves from the camps in Tigray. Over 4,400 individuals were registered in one month and additional refugees are expected to arrive. Efforts have been made to ensure all refugees on the site have access to shelter upon arrival, the UNHCR said.

According to figures from the UNHCR, Ethiopia hosts over 823,000 refugees and asylum seekers predominantly from South Sudan, Somalia and Eritrea. The majority lives in 24 refugee camps established across five regional states. Over 70,000 others also reside in the capital Addis Ababa as urban refugees.

The UNHCR emphasized that the security situation in the conflict-affected parts of Ethiopia remains volatile, affecting civilians and constraining humanitarian actors on the ground, despite the announcement of a humanitarian truce.

The rebel Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and the Ethiopian National Defense Force, backed by allied forces, have been engaged in an 19-month conflict since Nov. 2020 that left millions in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. The conflict also affected refugees and host communities in the conflict-affected parts of the East African country.

Humanitarian aid is recently heading to the Tigray region after the Ethiopian government and the rebel forces agreed to a conditional cessation of hostilities and unhindered delivery of humanitarian aid into the region.

The Ethiopian parliament designated the TPLF as a terrorist organization in May 2021. Enditem

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