Nov 28, 2021

Mawazo Writing Africa

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OCHA says humanitarian needs in Afar, Amhara regions rising amid ‘large- scale displacement’

The United Nations Office for Humanitarian Affairs Coordination (OCHA) stated that the ongoing conflict in the Amhara Afar and Amhara regions has resulted in large-scale displacement from the North Gonder, Wag Hemra, North and South Wello zones and in and around the world about Dessie, Kombolcha, Baati and Kamissie. Thousands of people have also reportedly been evicted from Chifra Woeda , the Awsi zone and a few locations in Ada’ar Woreda in Afar. According to the report, humanitarian needs, including emergency shelter, food, safe and clean drinking water, medicines and health services, dignity and hygiene kits for women and protection services, have increased within the country following the mass displacement.

The OCHA report found that in the Amhara area, where the majority of internally displaced persons are women and children, tens of thousands of internally displaced persons have reportedly been registered in Debre Berhan, with several taking shelter in two schools in the city. Alternatively, some internally displaced persons in the cities of Dessie and Kombolcha, who came from nearby Habru and Kutaber Woredas in recent weeks, are expected to return to their places of origin, the report says.

The obstruction to the delivery of urgent humanitarian aid has been attributed to restricted access due to insecurity and the limited presence of humanitarian partners on site. The report also noted that electricity and telecommunications had been cut in Dessie and Kombolcha since October 30, and commercial flights to Kombolcha had been suspended since mid-October.

In the Afar region, Electricity and communication are interrupted in the towns of Semera and Logia because the main transmitter in Kombolcha is out of order. Water supplies have also been cut and stores have run out of supplies as commercial utility lines have been cut, OCHA said. The Afar region is also at risk from desert locusts, according to a recent FAO report, confirming the presence of immature flocks in the area. Investigations and controls of desert locusts remain at risk because of the uncertainty, the report said.

The conflict also affected ranchers in the Afar and Amhara regions, who rely on the pet and grocery markets, such as in the report they currently do not have access to the market to sell their livestock and buy food. “As a result, food prices have risen significantly, while livestock prices have remained low due to the low demand.” Shipping