Ethiopia: Humanitarian Access Situation Report
Despite the risk of COVID-19 and lingering community tensions, in May and June various regional administrations returned thousands of internally displaced persons to areas of origin
GENEVA, Switzerland, July 24, 2020/ — This report is produced by OCHA Ethiopia in collaboration with humanitarian partners. It covers the period April to June 2020. The next report will be issued in September 2020.
• The operational environment to relief operations remained permissive through the reporting period.
• Insecurity and violence continues to be the main impediment to relief operations in Ethiopia, affecting in particular west and southern Oromia.
• Long-standing conflicts over land tenure and access to resources continue. The conflict in the Afar -Somali regional border, has left thousands stranded, out-ofreach to humanitarian partners.
• The aid community in Ethiopia joined the global call made by the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, for a cessation of hostilities to respond to COVID-19 in areas affected by violence.
• By End-June, COVID-19 related government-imposed restrictions were eased, allowing intra and inter-regional movements. Partners are now able to operate without restrictions, respecting the mandatory use of masks, hygienic measures, and social distancing in their activities.
• Despite the risk of COVID-19 and lingering community tensions, in May and June various regional administrations returned thousands of IDPs to areas of origin, i.e., Awi (Amhara) – Metekel (Benishangul Gumuz), East Hararge (Oromia) – Fafan (Somali), and Bale (Oromia) – Liban (Somali).
• The humanitarian community has demanded a halt in the deportation of thousands of Ethiopian irregular migrants in light of COVID-19, and a pause to the return of IDPs, until conditions in areas of return are fully conducive for the resumption of livelihoods in safety and security.
• Partners have expressed regret on the lack of consultation / coordination by regional authorities on IDP return processes, and on the limited adherence to humanitarian and durable solutions principles given the dire situation returnees are facing in areas of return.
• Whilst aid workers in Ethiopia are not directly targeted in the violence, operations are conducted in high-risk environments. Only in May, partners reported four violent incidents against aid workers, including physical attacks, temporary arrests, threats and intimidation.
• In May, WFP launched a system to monitor ‘road movements constraints’ in Ethiopia, and started issuing regular maps displaying the physical condition of roads (https://logcluster.org/countries/ETH)
• On 29 June, the killing of an Oromo artist and political activist in Addis Ababa unleashed violent protests across Oromia, some taking an ethnic dimension. The situation has significantly impacted operations in Oromia and in other regions such as BGR, Gambela, and SNNPR.
SOURCE: Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)