The humanitarian crisis is worsening each day in Ethiopia’s Tigray region.
People are facing death, injury and trauma. Women and children are reporting instances of violent sexual assault. Health facilities, schools and other public infrastructure have been destroyed, looted or are being used as shelter for internally displaced persons.
The humanitarian context
It’s estimated that 1.3 million people need humanitarian aid, ranging from health services, food and shelter, to basic hygiene items. Forced to flee dangerous areas or left without access to basic necessities, 735,000 people have left their homes across the region, migrating primarily to the northern city of Shire. In addition, thousands of Ethiopians have sought refuge in neighboring countries, while nearly 100,000 Eritean refugees living in Tigray have been relocated to other camps. The circumstances are only exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic and food insecurity caused by extreme floods, droughts and locust infestation affecting the region.
How is HI intervening?
The need for basic supplies and services grows each day as people flee their homes and seek refuge in larger cities. Humanity & Inclusion (HI) teams on-site say this is particularly true for people living in rural, isolated areas, which are dangerously cut off from assistance. Funding needs are high, to enable them to safely and effectively work alongside affected communities. Their priority is to see people with disabilities and individuals in vulnerable situations safely accessing basic and specific aid.
HI's teams have assessed the situation and humanitarian needs by meeting with impacted community members, other INGOs, and experts in security and logistics. HI, which has been working in Ethiopia since 1986, is forming emergency intervention and protection plans that include:
- Psychological first aid through individual and group counseling sessions and trauma-informed training for aid and health workers;
- Quality rehabilitation services, including physical therapy sessions, training of health care workers and mobility aids for people with disabilities and those facing complications after injuries;
- Inclusive humanitarian response that focuses on people with disabilities, unaccompanied children, women at-risk of violence and exploitation, and vulnerable populations; and
- Storage, transportation and coordinated distribution of humanitarian aid supplies with partner INGOs.