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News: UN says humanitarian situation worsening for over 850,000 people displaced in Western Oromia, urges multi-sectoral support

People displace from East Wollega in November 2022 (Pictures: Social Media)

Addis Abeba – The UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said the humanitarian situation in East and West Wollega zones of the Oromia regional state has shown to worsen in the last few months due to continued insecurity from conflict since 2020. 

Even though there is improved access, about 859,000 displaced people are in need of protection and other multi-sectoral support, OCHA said in its latest situation report on Ethiopia.

“Protection concerns have been reported amongst women and children displaced and exposed to different risks such as loss of families, gender-based-violence (GBV) and physical injury, as well as resort to dangerous and negative coping mechanisms,” the report stated. 

The report noted that tens of thousands of children are out of school subsequent to damaged or closed schools, and high mortality and morbidity rates are reported due to damaged health facilities and poor health services.

In December 2022, the UN had stated that humanitarian delivery to people in need in the Oromia regional state is “fast deteriorating”, adding that electricity, mobile network, health facilities, banks and markets are not functional following the ongoing fighting in the region.

The first ever attempt to peacefully resolve the war between the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) and government forces which was held in Zanzibar, Tanzania was concluded without an agreement on 03 May. 

Intense fighting supported with heavy weaponry has been going on in several parts of the Oromia region since the talks were concluded causing fears of worsened humanitarian situation and casting shadow on the prospects of the second round of talks. AS

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