UNICEF Ethiopia Humanitarian Situation Report No. 3, March 2022 – Ethiopia

Strong points

  • UNICEF estimates that 9.9 million people are affected by drought in 214 hotspots spread across four regions of Afar, Oromia, Somalia and the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ Region ( SNNPR), including 4.45 million children. More than four million people in hotspots of drought-affected regions are in dire need of water. UNICEF has been able to provide more than 200,000 people with safe drinking water since January.

  • The conflict in northern Ethiopia has had serious consequences on the nutritional status of children under five. In Afar and Amhara, a “Find and Treat” nutritional screening was carried out. In Afar, 1.6 percent of children aged 6-59 months suffered from severe acute malnutrition (SAM), while in Amhara preliminary results revealed indirect SAM among children at 6 percent.

  • According to the Nutrition Cluster, in Tigray, an estimated 454,000 children are malnourished, including more than 115,000 children (14%) who are severely malnourished.

  • UNICEF launched the “Find and Treat” campaign in drought-affected areas in the Somali region, including internally displaced persons (IDP) sites, which revealed that 2.4 per cent of children have SAM; indirect rates of Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) indicate extreme rates ranging from 17 to 26%. In Oromia, as part of the Rapid Nutrition Emergency Response, UNICEF conducted a “Find and Treat” campaign in 18 woredas in Borena, East Bale and Bale zones. As a result, a total of 181,242 children under five were screened, of whom 2,876 were determined to have SAM (1.6%); mean GAM rates were 17%.

  • Over 5,200 children have been reached by the integrated child protection and education program “Bete” (“My house”) in Afar, Oromia and SNNP regions, providing protection services in and around learning environments.

Situation in figures

12.4 million children in need of humanitarian assistance (HNO and HRP 2022 projects)

29.7 million people in need (HNO and HRP 2022 project)

4.51 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) (DTM 2022)

844,589 pending and registered refugees (UNHCR, 31 March 2021)

Overview of the situation and humanitarian needs

Prolonged drought continues in the Oromia, Somali and Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples and South West Peoples’ Regions (SNNPR and SWEPR, respectively). UNICEF estimates that 9.9 million people are affected by drought in 214 hotspots across four regions – Afar, Oromia, Somali and SNNPR – including 4.45 million children. More than four million people in 214 hotspots in drought-affected regions are in dire need of water. In addition, nearly 350 boreholes in drought-affected areas need immediate repair. In February 2022, there was a 15% increase in SAM in drought-affected areas compared to February 2021. In addition, moderate acute malnutrition (MAM) rates among pregnant and lactating women (PLW) are greater than 50%. Nearly 650,000 children are out of school in Oromia (207,004), SNNPR (68,061) and Somali (372,727) due to drought which has closed more than 2,000 schools. A total of 1.9 million children and caregivers need protection support and 3.4 million people need health support.

According to the Borena and East Bale Disaster Risk Management Office (DRMO) report, it was reported that 85% of woredas in the two areas of Oromia region received minimum to moderate rainfall since March 23. . According to the latest data from the Therapeutic Feeding Program (TFP) in the region, admissions for severe acute malnutrition (SAM) in Borena area increased by 63% compared to the previous month. Results of the Find and Treat nutrition campaign in selected woredas in Borena, East Bale and Bale indicated a worrying Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) rate of 15%.

In the Somali region, SAM admissions increased by 14.5% compared to the previous month. Seasonal Gu rains have started in parts of the region, but the vast majority of drought-affected areas remain dry; drought conditions persist. Pastures did not regenerate but water stress was somewhat alleviated where rains were observed. Multi-directional flows of refugees and IDPs to woredas bordering Somalia have been observed, such as Ferfer, Mustahil, Barey, Dollo Ado and Dollo-bay. The continuous trucking of water and food distributions near these border areas have been the main pull factors.

In SNNPR, more than 68,000 children are affected by drought in Dasenech, Hammer, Gnangatom, Selamago, Bena Tsemay and Male woredas in South Omo Zone. In Sidama, nearly 18,000 children are also affected by water shortages in Bilate Zuria, Boricha, Bona Zuria, Hawassa Zuria, Loka Abaya and Aleta Chuko woredas.

According to the Afar Region Disaster Prevention and Food Security Program Coordination Office (DPFSPCO), more than 330,000 people have been newly displaced from Area 25 since January. Of the new IDP cases, more than 74,000 are children under five and 19,000 are PLW. This brings to 765,000 the number of cases of IDPs due to conflict. According to Afar DPFSPCO, 1.7 million people in the 23 woredas are affected by the conflict and drought-induced humanitarian crisis A nutritional screening carried out as part of the Find and Treat campaign indicates that 1.6% of children aged 6 to 59 months and 50.7% of SAM and MAM PLW, respectively.

The Amhara Regional Disaster and Risk Management Commission (DRMC) has reported 50,000 new IDPs in North Wollo, North Shewa and Waghimra areas as a result of the conflict in northern Ethiopia. A “find and treat” campaign in conflict-affected areas7 showed an increase in SAM from 1.7% before the conflict to 6% currently. Additionally, the proxy GAM of children in Waghimra, North Wollo and North Gondar is above 22% for children and 50% for PLW.

In Tigray, an estimated 454,000 children are malnourished, including more than 115,000 severely malnourished children. These estimates suggest that more than 50% of children in Tigray suffer from MAM and 14% from SAM. The last two “Find and Treat” campaigns conducted in Tigray showed vicarious SAM of 3% and MAM ranging from 12-23% in children under five.

According to the Benishangul Gumuz Regional Disaster and Risk Management Commission (DRMC), the security situation in the region has improved. However, in Metekel area, particularly in Bulen, Guba and Dangur woredas, ambushes and casualties have been reported following armed clashes. The commission estimates that the number of displaced people in the region has risen to around 440,000, including around 78,000 children under the age of five and more than 20,000 PLW.

In addition, an outbreak of childhood scabies and diarrhea (Rotavirus) was reported in three woredas in Assosa zone, with 449 confirmed cases and three deaths. The Regional Health Bureau (RHB) has assigned an epidemiology team to the woredas to support the investigation and response response.

In Gambella, the Refugee and Returnee Service (RRS) has planned to relocate all registered refugees (9,840 people) from the Pagak reception center to Nguenyyiel refugee camp by mid-April. RRS plans to stop all services at the Pagak reception center once the move is complete. UNICEF will continue to provide services through existing service points. Fighting between the South Sudanese government and rebels that began in February continues along the border at Jikawo and Pagak. Additionally, according to the Regional Education Bureau (REB), due to sporadic and continuous Murle attacks, including abductions, 41 schools in seven woredas have been closed, affecting the education of 15,700 children.

The Education Cluster reports that more than 4,000 schools are closed across the country, leaving more than 1.8 million children out of school. This includes 1.2 million children out of school due to conflict in Afar, Amhara, Benishangul Gumuz, Gambella, Oromia, SNNP and Tigray, in addition to 650,000 children out of school in Oromia, Somali, SNNP and Sidama due to Drought. Additionally, the Oromia Regional Education Office had reported that 117 schools in West Guji, Borena, Bale and Hararghe areas were damaged due to a storm during the reporting month.

As of March 31, 2022, a total of 469,758 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 7,497 deaths (with a case fatality rate (CFR) of 1.6%) have been reported in Ethiopia since the start of the outbreak in March 2020 A total of 442,826 (94.3%) patients have recovered and more than 24.5 million people have been vaccinated against COVID-19. At the end of March 2022, a total of 13.4 million doses of COVID vaccine were available in stock at central and subnational centers of the Ethiopian Pharmaceutical Supply Agency (EPSA).

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