Crisis Severity The severity score from 1 to 5 is based on 31 indicators aggregated into 3 pillars (impact, conditions, and complexity)4.20 Very lowVery high 5
Impact This measures the impact of the crisis itself, in terms of the scope of its geographical, and human effects.4.00 Very lowVery high 5
Humanitarian Conditions This measures the conditions and status of the people affected, including info about the distribution of severity.4.50 Very lowVery high 5
Complexity This measures the complexity of the crisis, in terms of factors that affect its mitigation or resolution.3.90 Very lowVery high 5
Access Constraints This measures the level of humanitarian access constraints.4.0No constraintsExtreme constraints
Ethiopia: One year into the conflict in Northern Ethiopia
Ethiopia: Pre-crisis situation in Tigray
Fighting initially broke out in Tigray in November 2020 between Tigrayan forces on one side and the Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF), the Eritrean Defence Forces, and allied regional special forces on the other. The conflict was localised to Tigray region between November 2020 and June 2021 before expanding to Afar and Amhara regions.?
At the end of June 2021, a shift in conflict dynamics (including the ENDF’s withdrawal from Tigray) dramatically changed the operational context. Access within Tigray has improved since early July 2021, but access into Tigray remains severely restricted. There is only one viable road for humanitarian transport into Tigray through Afar, with sporadic cargo movement and limited air travel for humanitarian staff. The consequent lack of humanitarian supplies, fuel shortages, and reduced cash availability hamper the humanitarian response in Tigray. Telecommunications, internet, and electricity blackouts persist across the region. Commercial movement in and out of the region has not been possible since July 2021.?
Between mid-July and December 2021, Tigrayan forces were advancing towards Amhara and Afar regions, resulting in increased access constraints and humanitarian needs in both regions. Conflict increased food insecurity, large-scale displacement, and the lack of access to essential services. Despite the withdrawal of Tigrayan forces starting in December 2021, the presence of armed forces and the threat of escalation keep the security situation along the regional border areas unpredictable. ?
Since the start of the conflict, the population in Tigray has experienced mass killings, human rights abuses, violence against civilians, sexual and gender-based violence, and arbitrary detention, resulting in high protection needs. There have also been similar reports of human rights violations in Amhara and Afar, especially since the spread of fighting in July 2021.?
With the resumption of fighting in northern Ethiopia on 24 August, an additional 574,000 people have been displaced in Afar (164,000), Amhara (200,000), and Tigray (210,000). Displaced people are taking shelter in makeshift tents or under open skies. Insecurity and movement restrictions continue to limit humanitarian access by land and air. Food, NFIs, healthcare, protection, WASH, and education are needed. ?
Food: severe food insecurity has resulted from displacement, movement restrictions, supply constraints, the loss of harvest and livelihoods, and disrupted markets. As at July 2022, 13 million people needed food assistance across all three regions. This number is a considerable increase from the nine million who needed food assistance in northern Ethiopia in November 2021. ?
Health: an estimated 3.9 million people in Tigray and ten million in Amhara need access to healthcare, which has drastically worsened since the start of conflict. Health facilities have been looted and destroyed, rendering the majority non-functional. Other health concerns include the lack of supplies for the treatment of chronic health issues and disease outbreaks.?
Nutrition: severe acute malnutrition rates are rising across the three regions, but a lack of clarity on the number of people screened for malnutrition per week, combined with issues of access to people in need, limits the understanding of the scale of the issue over time.?
WASH: roughly 70,500 IDPs living in collective sites in Tigray and more than 336,000 IDPs across 11 sites in Afar require water trucking. Fuel shortages and access constraints are among the issues preventing the sufficient distribution of WASH services and NFIs and the proper functionality of WASH infrastructure.?
Shelter: emergency shelter and NFI needs are high because of mass displacement, particularly after the spread of the Tigray conflict into Afar and Amhara and the reopening of schools that sheltered IDPs. Supply chain disruptions are causing NFI shortages. ?
- Because of limited access and communications blackouts, the extent of the needs in northern Ethiopia is hard to determine.
- There is a lack of recent food security data, especially in Tigray.
- There is a lack of information on displacement in Tigray given the lack of fuel in the region.
- Displacement figures for Amhara and Afar are unknown because of a lack of government capacity, access constraints, and multiple displacements.