HUMANITARIAN PREPAREDNESS AND RESPONSE
Despite some progress, the humanitarian response remains drastically inadequate compared to the needs on the ground. Assistance remains particularly limited in rural areas due to access constraints and security volatility, and there are acute gaps and challenges across all sectors.
Inadequate humanitarian access continues to be the most important obstacle preventing aid workers to scale up the response. Although an increasing number of access clearance for international staff has been granted, with over 80 approvals as of 19 February, other challenges are emerging, including the movements out of Tigray’s capital Mekelle.
Fluid security situation and bureaucratic constraints have seriously compromised the food response, with several woredas in Central, North Western and Southern Zones yet to be reached. The gap vis-à-vis the target is particularly high in the Central Zone, followed by the Eastern and Southern zones. Alarmingly, even in the Mekelle Zone, internally displaced people (IDP) continue to face serious food shortages. Of the 11,455 displaced people in the 8 centers assessed by the BoLSA-led team, only 2,756 have received food aid, with many sharing the scarce and rapidly diminishing resources of the host communities.
The situation is also urgent to relocate thousands of people sheltering in schools across the region, following the interim Government’s plans to re-open schools in two weeks.
The Tigray Emergency Coordination Center (ECC) continues to meet weekly. Following findings from recent assessments to IDP sites in urban centers, the ECC called on partners to prioritize assistance and protection to collective sites, as well as ensuring the delivery to the Central Zone.