Ethiopia Briefing - Security Situation in Tigray Remains Fluid and Unpredictable

Kissanet school in Mekelle, Ethiopia, is sheltering hundreds of displaced people.

OCHA says that the security situation in Tigray remains fluid and unpredictable, while humanitarian access is gradually improving in parts of Tigray.

Yesterday, a bridge over Tekeze river connecting Western Zone and the rest of Tigray was destroyed and rendered inoperative. The destruction and vandalization of vital infrastructure are seriously threatening the provision of humanitarian assistance to people in need and access of civilians to essential services, goods and livelihoods. All parties to the conflict must protect civilians and civilian infrastructure in compliance with international humanitarian law.

Electricity and telecommunications remain cut off and banking services are still not available. While road access from and to Tigray for humanitarian supplies remains blocked, staff movement from Mekelle to Afar was possible yesterday.

Regarding access into Tigray, five UNICEF trucks with water, sanitation, hygiene, health and nutrition supplies are waiting to enter Tigray pending approval from federal authorities. There are still no flights in and out of the region though the Government of Ethiopia has today announced the possibility of UNHAS flights resuming this weekend.

Humanitarian partners are gradually resuming humanitarian operations. The World Food Programme (WFP) has resumed food deliveries after suspending its operations for only about 48 hours. About 40,000 people in North-Western Zone will be reached by the end of this weekend.

Today, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is delivering seeds to farmers in Abi Adi in South-Eastern Zone, while partners continue to provide water trucking in major towns and to IDP sites across the region and maintaining water systems.

UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO) are preparing to resume the operation of 55 mobile health and nutrition teams starting early next week. The integrated measles campaign will also be resumed soon.

It is urgent to get additional staff and supplies into Tigray, restore electricity, telecoms, and ensure the availability of cash and fuel for the continuity of humanitarian operations. Without fuel the UN cannot operate.

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