Crisis in Tigray
Before a negotiated truce took hold in November 2022, the conflict in northern Ethiopia created millions of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees, and caused widespread destruction. More than 1,500 health facilities in the region no longer function. Despite the truce, emergency response efforts face numerous challenges, including fuel shortages and the disruption of electricity, telephone and internet networks. Transporting critical supplies also remains difficult.
Amid these conditions, we provide an array of lifesaving health and related services to those affected by the conflict and its aftermath. These include vital nutrition, health, gender-based violence (GBV), mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS), and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services to 26 sites hosting about 800,000 IDPs in the Afar, Amhara and Tigray regions. We provide a range of services through mobile medical units (MMUs) in the regions, including outpatient consultations, nutrition screenings, perinatal consultations, family planning services and health education. We also operate a surge team of two medical officers in Dansha who provide outpatient consultations, MHPSS services and screening for malnutrition.
Following the November 2022 truce, International Medical Corps restarted services at nine IDP sites in Shire and resumed all other operations in Tigray. With the recent resumption of humanitarian flights and road access to Tigray, our team has shipped medicines and medical supplies, programme materials, and assorted sanitation- and hygiene-related non-food items into Tigray by road and air from Addis Ababa, resupplying our mobile teams and helping to address urgent programme needs.
We deliver clean water via trucks daily in Shire and Sheraro, as well as hand pumps to increase the availability of potable water in the region. In addition, a mobile team that we operate in Adiarkay continues to provide screening, health and nutrition services. Other WASH activities include hygiene promotion sessions, covering such topics as handwashing, proper use of latrines, safe household water handling and prevention of COVID-19.
Our teams have also resumed service in urban areas of Adwa, Aksum and Sheraro. In response to the region’s supply and logistical hurdles, International Medical Corps is working closely with United Nations clusters and relevant authorities to facilitate and utilise space in air freight and road convoys. We also keep our teams in Afar and Northern Amhara supported and supplied with essential items for a comprehensive response.