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Food Rations Run Out in Tigray’s Refugee Camps

December 3 , 2020

United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA).

Over 96,000 people in refugee camps in Tigray Regional State are in dire need of food aid, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA). The agency also called for immediate and unhindered access for humanitarian relief as food rations have neared depletion.

The last distribution made in the months of October and November by World Food Programme (WFP), Agency for Refugee & Returnee Affairs (ARRA) and UNHCR are estimated to last a maximum of three more days. Since the breakout of armed conflict between federal forces and the region’s former administration early last month, the Regional State has seen 950,000 people displaced within the region and over 45,000 seeking asylum in neighbouring Sudan. Nearly 45pc of the refugees are children.

The Um Raquba camp in Sudan has hosted 10,000 refugees, and it has currently reached full capacity.

The UNHCR, which is working with Sudan’s Commission on Refugees and local authorities, pushed for additional settlement sites as the number of refugees surpasses 45,000 since November 7, 2020. The Agency is seeking 147 million dollars to support a projected 100,000 refugees between November and June 2021.

The communication blackout, power outage and closure of banks has further aggravated the provision of necessary food and fuel supplies, including cash support efforts to vulnerable population groups, according to the report released on December 1.

More than half of the total 200 aid workers in the region are still unaccounted for, and the attack on three ambulances belonging to the International Committee of the Red Cross has signaled a worrying lack of respect for humanitarian actors, according to the report by the UNHCR.

The National Disaster Risk Management Commission, which has established four Incident Command Posts in Tigray and Amhara regional states for humanitarian assistance, has dispatched at least 87 million Br worth of food and non-food items to displacement reception area along with other actors. The east, west and southern parts of the country have also seen conflicts that require water, medical services, sanitation, hygiene, shelter, non-food items, food, livelihoods and cash support.

The ongoing Humanitarian Preparedness Plan targets nearly two million people in Tigray, Amhara and Afar regional states, which is in addition to the existing caseload and additional 1.1 million people as a result of the conflict. The projected needs between November 2020 and January 2021 will require nearly 100 million dollars, of which only a quarter has been secured.

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