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Tigray – Emergency Coordination Center Operational Update (28 April 2023) Regional Emergency Coordination Center



This operational update was obtained by Tghat on May 5, it covers the two weeks ending on April 27. A summary follows. 

(DB notes refer to brief analysis by Duke Burbridge and do not necessarily refer to information provided in the update.}

Key Takeaways:

  • Food distribution has been suspended despite extensive measures taken to respond to incidents of wheat being sold or otherwise diverted. This suspension comes as the lean season begins in Tigray and 2.5 million remain internally displaced.
  • No meaningful improvement in access to areas still occupied by Eritrean and Amhara forces.
  • Severe deficiencies in agriculture inputs and supplies remain with time running out for planting.
  • First suspected cases of cholera reported in Tigray in the Northwestern Zone where there is extremely limited access and resources for an effective response. Malaria remains the greatest cause of morbidity with 4,500 new cases per week.
  • 5,888 new cases of Severe Acute Malnutrition in children screened in the past two weeks (18% overall GAM). Limited supplies are available to treat malnutrition in children or pregnant women.
  • Assessment of the Eastern Zone finds nearly half of homes have been partially or fully destroyed.
  • Interruption in aid is expected to have devastating results for the people of Tigray.

Cluster Highlights

Food Cluster:

  • Reports that Eritrean and Amhara forces continue to block access in four zones (DB Note: This would be five zones including Western Tigray.) Weredas include: 
    • Eastern Zone: Erob, Zala Anbesa Town, Gulo Mekeda
    • Central Zone: Rama, Egela
    • Northwestern Zone: Tahtay Adiyabo, Dima
    • Southern Zone: Ofla, Zata
  • Notes the pause in food distribution due to “selling of food assistance in some areas and inclusion and exclusion error in targeting” and also outlines extensive measures taken to respond to instances of diversion. 
    • Provides recommendations for strategies to mitigate the selling of food aid.
  • Reports that in Round 1/2023, 138,378 IDPs received a food ration as of March 19. (DB Note: This figure has not increased since.)
  • Notes that the Emergency Food Security Assessment was completed in February and expected to be released “in the coming days.” (DB Note: The ECC report was issued last week, so this did not happen.)
  • Notes that the lean season is approaching along with the end of the Meher planting season, which underscores the need for food distribution and agriculture inputs.
  • Notes that the multisector needs are creating the conditions that make beneficiaries sell aid. 
  • Notes that the food response has not kept up with the need. Repeats the request for the food distribution system to change to monthly distribution rather than round-based.
  • Repeats the recommendation to increase, rather than decrease the current caseload for emergency food distribution.
  • Reports that 2.5 million people are still displaced in Tigray.

Logistics Cluster

  • Reports that the following supplies entered Tigray between March 29 and April 27:
    • 32,000 MT of Food delivered via three corridors into Tigray. (30K through Semera-Mekelle)
    • 828 MT of Nutritional supplies
    • 765 MT of Shelter and Non-Food Items
    • 679 MT of Agricultural inputs
    • 378 MT of WASH supplies
    • 28 MT of Health supplies
    • 144K Liters of Fuel.

Agriculture Cluster

  • Reports that current needs and gaps include:
    • Major crops inputs (37K MT of seeds, >80,000MT of fertilizers, 229K liters of agro-chemicals.) No supplies reported to be in the pipeline for fertilizers or seeds.
    • Livestock support (Drugs: 18 million doses; Vaccines 16M doses; equipment and maintenance for 198 veterinary health posts.) No supplies reported to be in the pipeline.
    • Natural Resource development and management (Hand tools, Forest seeds)
  • Notes a dire need for urgency in light of the upcoming Meher season.
  • Reports livestock disease outbreaks.

Nutrition Cluster

  • Reports that of children screened in the past two weeks, 18% were acutely malnourished. 
    • Of these 5,888 children were admitted for treatment for severe acute malnourishment
  • Reports that of the pregnant or lactating mothers screened, 63% were acutely malnourished.
  • Notes that supplies, resources, and access are not sufficient to treat malnourishment in Tigray.
  • Notes that a suspension of MAM supplies will create a severe gap in the nutrition response.

Health Cluster

  • Reports 3 suspected cases of cholera, the first to be reported in Tigray (DB Note: The capacity to control or respond to a cholera outbreak in Tigray would be extremely limited.)
  • Reports 18 suspected measles cases with one fatality. 
  • Reports that Malaria is still the leading cause of morbidity (~4,500 new cases per week), Scabies is also a major concern.
  • Reports 50 new cases of Anthrax
  • Reports 2 maternal deaths and 39 neonatal deaths at health centers (DB Note: This only includes deaths at functional health centers, the true number would be much higher.)
  • No medicine arrived in the previous week. Supply is extremely low.
  • Health facilities near the borders with Eritrea and Amhara are still inaccessible (Primarily NW and Southern Zones)
  • Reports that medical services have begun to be provided to Endabaguna to respond to a recent influx of IDPs.

Emergency Shelter and Non-Food Items Cluster / Protection Cluster

  • Reports that a damage and loss assessment completed in the Eastern Zone (DB Note: This appears to be connected to the UNHCR report that was suppressed.)
    • Majority of weredas have experienced extreme damage and loss.
    • Nearly 50,000 IDPs have returned to Eastern Zone and need assistance.
    • An average of 48% of homes were partially or fully destroyed in the weredas assessed (Zalambessa and Irob were not assessed).
    • Many returnees are living in damaged homes as the rainy season is beginning.
  • Reports that UXO incidents were reported last week, three people injured including one child. 
  • Notes that the process of IDP returns is very slow due to the gap in resources, 
  • Reports that 94 schools still used to house displaced families.
  • Notes that funding has been reduced despite continued need.

Summary done by Duke Burbridge

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