Fighting in Ethiopia’s Tigray region is restricting assistance response and creating a volatile situation amid a critical water shortage, UN humanitarians said on Friday.
“The humanitarian situation in Tigray, Ethiopia, remains volatile, with armed clashes reported in some areas, including around Abiy Adi in the central region, restricting humanitarian movement and response,” the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said.
“There are critical water shortages in most parts of the region.” Humanitarian partners of the world organization and the regional government are deploying 123 water trucks targeting more than 288,000 people in the area, including in the city of Mekelle and the town of Shire, OCHA said. Based on recent needs assessments, over the next three months, 285 water trucks are needed.
The government has reported 75,000 newly displaced people arriving in the central administrative town of Shire over the past week, bringing the number of internally displaced people in Shire to almost 500,000.
While most of the displaced people live with host communities, the others are in 15 sites, most of which reportedly have received no assistance over the past two to three months, the humanitarians said.
Limited communication in some parts of Tigray is delaying the transmission of information, including for dispatching and distribution of food, especially for Mekelle. There have been some improvements in humanitarian access in Tigray, OCHA said.
Still, the United Nations continues to call for safe, unimpeded and sustained access to scale up the humanitarian response. More funding is also urgently needed to help all people in need.