Ethiopia Tigray Emergency

Nigsty was enjoying her quiet life at home as a housewife with her husband, who worked on a farm as a truck driver. 

When conflict erupted in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, Nigsty and her husband were forced to leave everything they knew behindall while Nigsty was heavily pregnant. For more on Nigsty’s story, click here.

Photo: ©UNHCR

Like Nigsty and her husband, more than 62,000 Ethiopian refugees have arrived in Sudan exhausted and scared. 

Please support UK for UNHCR’s Ethiopia Tigray emergency and help families who have lost everything.  

Protection

Officers are working tirelessly to help register and assist refugees. 

Shelter

UNHCR is urgently working to prepare temporary shelter for refugees.

Food and security

Screening all new arrivals for malnutrition and providing emergency nutrition to help stabilise those whose lives are in danger. 

Tell me more about the Ethiopia Tigray emergency.

In early November 2020, military clashes between federal and regional forces in Ethiopia’s Tigray region led the Government to declare a State of Emergency.  

Since then, and despite the announcement of an official end to military operations at the end of November, thousands of children, women and men have been forced to flee into Sudan and thousands more are displaced within Ethiopia. Most people fled with nothing. They have left behind their belongings. They are often separated from their families.

Where are Ethiopian families fleeing to?
Approximately 62,500 Ethiopian refugees have been recorded crossing into East Sudan as of 5 April. Some 41,000 refugees have been relocated to Um Rakuba camp (20,572) and Tunaydbah settlement (20,609).
What about existing refugees inside the region?
The region already hosts nearly 100,000 refugees from Eritrea and another 100,000 internally displaced. The Ethiopian government has announced the closure of the Shimelba and Hitsats refugee camps. UNHCR is working with local authorities to identify and to support the potential relocation of 15,000-20,000 Eritrean refugees from the two camps. As of 1 April, nearly 7,650 refugees from Hitsats and Shimelba had relocated to Adi Harush and Mai Aini camps either on their own or transported by the government from Shire. Refugees are receiving food and core relief Items upon arrival.
What kind of support is UNHCR providing?
UNHCR and partners are screening and registering children, women and men who are seeking safety from the conflict in Ethiopia. As well, UNHCR and partners have been coordinating the distribution of hygiene materials; shelters kits, and other household items like blankets, sleeping mats and jerry cans. Since the start of the emergency, UNHCR has organised 10 airlifts to Sudan carrying over 3,200 cubic meters of emergency supplies and shelter, as well as 22 vehicles and two ambulances. But demand is greatly outweighing supplies.
What about Ethiopians that are displaced within Ethiopia?

There are currently 650,000 internally displaced persons— a number which includes the old case load and those who may be newly displaced within Ethiopia’s Tigray region.

Where can I access the latest data and reports?

Ethiopia Situation Portal – for latest updates on the situation overall, including UNHCR situation reports, funding requirements and UNHCR’s support for neighbouring countries taking in refugees from Ethiopia.  

Ethiopia Operations  – for latest on UNHCR’s relief work to protect displaced people inside Ethiopia.

At the conflict’s peak, women, men and children were fleeing at a rate of 4,000 per day.

“I had a pretty nice job. It was peaceful and I was in the right place.” 

Dr Daryelowm worked as a specialist for nearly four years at a hospital in western Tigray before he was forced to flee. UNHCR has teams on the Sudanese border supporting displaced families and individuals like Dr Daryelowm who continue to arrive seeking safety.

Dr Daryelowm arrived at ‘Village 8,’ a Sudanese settlement near the border, where he pulled together a group of doctors, nurses, pharmacists and even a veterinarian, to help the new arrivals who were getting sick from the poor conditions there.

While the work is overwhelming and resources are overstretched, he isn’t ready to give up. “We can give some basic care to the people who are here,” he says.

Photo: ©UNHCR/Will Swanson

“I had a pretty nice job. It was peaceful and I was in the right place.”

Dr Daryelowm worked as a specialist for nearly four years at a hospital in western Tigray before he was forced to flee.

UNHCR has teams on the Sudanese border supporting displaced families and individuals like Dr Daryelowm who continue to arrive seeking safety. Dr Daryelowm arrived at ‘Village 8,’ a Sudanese settlement near the border, where he pulled together a group of doctors, nurses, pharmacists and even a veterinarian, to help the new arrivals who were getting sick from the poor conditions there. While the work is overwhelming and resources are overstretched, he isn’t ready to give up. “We can give some basic care to the people who are here,” he says.

Photo: ©UNHCR/Will Swanson

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