The conflict has uprooted hundreds of thousands of people across Tigray, leaving people in urgent need of emergency shelter and basic household items, including kitchen utensils, blankets, mats, among others. While most displaced people are seeking shelter with relatives and friends, thousands are also living in overcrowded collective centres in different parts of Tigray.
Assessments led by the Bureau of Labour and Social Affairs (BoLSA) and the Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Bureau (DPPB) in centres for newly displaced people in Mekelle highlighted a dire situation, with on average 30 people sleeping in a single classroom. There are no separate rooms for men, women, people with special needs, exposing particularly women and girls to sexual abuse. Some schools in which displaced people are currently hosted have broken doors and windows and have inadequate lighting, further adding to GBV risks. Similarly, the ES/NFI Cluster-led assessments in Adigrat and Shire also report concerning living standards, with people living in overcrowded settings in unfinished buildings.
The Cluster has so far reached more than 49,000 people with emergency shelter or non-food items assistance. In the second week of February, World Vision distributed 1,200 full ES/NFI kits in Alamata, Chercher, Mekelle and Mehoni, while Save the Children (SCI) distributed 1,000 kits in Axum in the Central Zone. Further distribution of 5,000 kits in Shire via the International Committee of the Red Cross is ongoing.
There are currently 20 national, international NGOs and UN agencies operational across 6 Zones in Tigray, 3 Zones in Amhara and 4 Zones in Afar. Partners are engaged with several life-saving activities, including the distribution of ES/NFI kits, cash-for-rent and cash-for-NFIs activities and the rehabilitation of communal centers.
The sub-national Shelter Cluster, which has been activated on 26 January in Mekelle, continues to hold meetings every Tuesday. ES/NFI partners conducted rapid assessments in Adigrat and Shire.
Funding is a pressing challenge—with gap of 73 per cent of the total required—, and the ongoing and planned response is vastly outstripped by the needs on the ground. There is an urgent need to scale up the response to meet the existing critical needs of displaced people and guarantee a dignified relocation from schools to alternative sites.
Operational constraints, including lack of communication and limited information, continue to pose challenges to the response. Further, inconsistent and constantly changing figures due to more people arriving in urban areas add to the difficulty.