February 3, 2021
The conflict in Ethiopia’s northern region of Tigray has quickly emerged as one of the most dire humanitarian emergencies in the world. Since November, some 2.2 million have been displaced within Ethiopia or to neighboring countries. Access to Tigray is still severely limited, despite an agreement reached between the UN and the Government of Ethiopia for humanitarian access. Eritrean refugees in four camps in Tigray are especially vulnerable: many have been cut off for months, and have little access to food, water, medicine and fuel. Aid groups and human rights advocates have spoken out loudly, but the situation continues to deteriorate. Across the border in Sudan, refugees tell harrowing stories of escaping violence, and continue to lack adequate protection and assistance. The conflict also risks becoming a regional crisis, as Sudan, Eritrea, Somalia and other countries in the region are being pulled into the conflict. This roundtable discussed the humanitarian dimensions of the crisis, including protection, assistance, coordination and funding challenges.
Katharine Donato, ISIM Georgetown
Sarah Miller, ISIM and Refugees International
Mathijs Le Rutte, UNHCR
Madiha Raza, International Rescue Committee
Ken Ochieng Opalo, Georgetown University