• Crisis Severity ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Impact ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Humanitarian Conditions ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Complexity ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Access Constraints ?
    No constraints
    Extreme constraints



On 4 November 2020, the federal government’s Ethiopian National Defense Force and the regional Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) clashed after months of increasing political tensions. Violence broke out following an unconfirmed attack on a national military base in the Tigrayan capital city of Mekele and an attack on the Dansha military barracks. ?

While the situation has stabilised compared to November and December, there remain significant areas of insecurity particularly in the North Western, Central and Eastern Zones of the region. This raises safety concerns for local populations and humanitarian staff in these areas.?

The exact number of people in need or displaced remains unknown due to access constraints and communications blackout, which hamper assessments and data collection. It is also difficult to anticipate which demographic group or location has the highest needs. Of particular concern is the situation of Eritrean refugees hosted prior to the conflict in two camps (Shimelba and Hitsats) that remain inaccessible.?Estimates suggest that close to 500,000 people are displaced within Tigray and to Amhara, Afar, and Sudan.?Over 60,000 people have fled to eastern Sudan as at 31 January.?

Extensive needs are anticipated, as the delivery of essential basic services has been significantly disrupted by the conflict, due to infrastructure damage, reduced staffing levels, ongoing insecurity, non-payment of salaries in the public sector, and lack of supplies.?Public service provision has been affected across the region, including WASH and health services, banks, electricity, and telecommunications.?

Latest Developments


5.2 million people in Tigray region (over 90% of its population) need emergency food aid. The violence ongoing since November 2020 resulted in the loss of over 90% of the 2020 meher harvest (which normally lasts between October – February) and 80% of livestock. Emergency (IPC Phase 4) and Crisis (IPC Phase 3) food insecurity outcomes are expected across Tigray through at least September 2021. The most severe outcomes are likely in eastern, central, and northwestern areas where some populations are projected to be in Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5), raising a risk of famine conditions in those areas. Access is the main challenge. It is extremely difficult to deliver food to rural and remote parts of Tigray, which are controlled by armed groups. Restrictions, harassment, and attacks on humanitarian aid workers have delayed or prevented aid from reaching the affected population. ?



Food: Food shortages have been reported in the region, where more than 1 million people were already dependent on food aid. The conflict and access constraints prevent the delivery of humanitarian food assistance.?Household food consumption is likely to be low due to a reduction in access to farming land, inability to harvest, destroyed harvests, increased food prices, shortages of goods, insecurity, looted household food stocks, and partial to no access to markets in assessed areas .?

Health: Health needs are critical throughout the region, and there are reports that the health system has collapsed. It is estimated that only 22% of health facilities are functional.?

WASH: Clean water and waste management are urgently needed. Lack of clean water is resulting in the use of unprotected water sources and raising concerns about the spread of waterborne diseases and  COVID-19.?


  • Due to very limited access to affected areas, the number of displaced and their needs is unknown.
  • The scale and scope of needs across Tigray, particularly in inaccessible areas  in Central, Eastern, and North Western Zones.
  • The situation and needs at Hitsats and Shimelba Eritrean refugee camps remains unknown due to communications blackout and lack of access.