Humanitarian access into the Tigray Region has continued to gradually improve since the peace agreement. Food and non-food aid supplies are being transported via four corridors through Afar and Amhara regions into Tigray. Between 15 November and 8 December, the Government of Ethiopia and humanitarian partners have mobilized more than 1,600 trucks to deliver more than 63,800 metric tons of food and more than 4000 metric tons of health, shelter, education, protection as well as water, sanitation and hygiene supplies. Airlifts of nutrition and health supplies have also been delivered, while regular humanitarian passenger flights have been flying in much needed human capacity to scale up the response. The first humanitarian convoy movement from Mekelle to Shire also took place on 9 December and have continued since.
Meanwhile, electric lines and telecommunications have started being restored in several places, including Mekelle, Axum and Shire towns. This is having a positive impact on humanitarian operations and communities. While these are significantly positive developments, the progress needs to be further scaled up to reach the large number of populations who were rendered extremely vulnerable after two years of conflict. Assistance and rehabilitation work in conflict- affected areas in Afar and Amhara are also being scaled up, but more is needed especially in areas where displaced populations are returning following improved security. Services in return areas are reported to be very limited. Also, in Afar, in addition to addressing the impact of conflict, the Regional Health Bureau and partners are mobilizing to respond to rising malaria cases in the region. More than 66,000 malaria cases were reported this year, more than 2600 cases in recent weeks alone, which is 30 percent higher compared to the same time last year. In addition to Malaria, an increasing number of measles cases are being reported. Five woredas are currently experiencing an active measles outbreak, including Adar, Dalifage, Gelalo, Hadele’ala and Mille. Measles cases coupled with the high malnutrition rate in the region is posing increased life-threatening risks.