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

Please support UK for UNHCR’s Ethiopia Tigray emergency and help families like Nigsty’s 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.

The full-scale humanitarian crisis across the Tigray Region is at a tipping point.  

Since November, displaced families have endured hellish conditions with limited access to basic necessities due to fierce fighting between the Tigray regional government and Ethiopian federal forces. Just in the past month, renewed fighting has put civilians at increased risk, with reports of women and children being killed. 

An estimated 1.7 million people have had to flee and are in desperate need of emergency aid, while food shortages in the Tigray region and creating near famine conditions in some areas. UNHCR is scaling up its response as quickly as possible but urgently needs public support to keep pace with the mounting needs. With no end in sight, the sense of fear and tension is devastating for people who have already been through so much. 

Where are Ethiopian families fleeing to?

By June, more than 46,000 Ethiopian refugees from Tigray had been registered in Um Rakuba, Tunaydbah, Hamdayet and Village 8 on Sudan’s Eastern border. UNHCR teams are positioned along the border to assist fleeing families as they arrive seeking safety.

With the onset of the rainy season, extreme weather brings new threats. Strong winds, heavy rain and hail in late May and early June resulted in damage to thousands of household tents, shared latrines, and other key facilities in the Um Rakuba and Tunaydbah camps. UNHCR is working to repair shelters and facilities in the camp, and keep families safe in the rain season ahead.

What about internally displaced people in Ethiopia?

There are currently 182,000 Eritrean refugees in Ethiopia, 22% of the total refugee population in Ethiopia.

It is estimated that the Tigray conflict has now displaced some 1.7 million people. 

What about gender-based violence?

Reports of human rights atrocities are widespread, particularly against women and young girls. Every day without a safe place to live is a day when they are more vulnerable to sexual violence. UNHCR workers on the ground are hearing harrowing stories of sexual violence and human rights abuses, including forced recruitment of men and young boys. 

UNHCR is supporting unaccompanied children, women and girls exposed to gender-based violence and offering psycho-social support to address the trauma that many have experienced.

What others kind of support is UNHCR providing?

UNHCR is working tirelessly to scale up their response due to the growing need for humanitarian assistance. UNHCR is screening and registering children, women and men who are seeking safety from the conflict in Ethiopia.  

UNHCR is working round-the-clock with authorities and partners in Sudan to provide vitally needed emergency shelter, food, potable water and health screening to the thousands of refugee women, children and men arriving from the Tigray region in search of protection. We are distributing relief items, including blankets, sleeping ats, plastic sheeting and hygiene kits. COVID-19 prevention is a priority with the distribution of soap and 50,000 face masks at border points.

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

Share This