Since 2018, Ethiopia has witnessed an escalation in unrest including large-scale displacement, killings, and destruction of property following domestic political changes. Such unrest has exacerbated the impact of climate-related crises, including the most devastating desert locust infestation in 25 years, which has damaged crops and fostered food insecurity. In early 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic infiltrated Ethiopia leading to lockdowns and transport bans in many regions that restricted access to markets. Then in November 2020 conflict erupted in the northern Tigray region, displacing many Ethiopians and contributing an approximate 1.1 million additional people needing assistance in Amhara, Afar and Tigray regions. All of these events have severely disrupted livelihoods, affected the availability of staple market commodities, and threatened to sharply escalate humanitarian need for vulnerable populations across the country.
REACH was first deployed to Ethiopia in 2019 in order to support market monitoring efforts and track the prices of basic goods following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. As conflict has escalated in the Tigray region, REACH will implement humanitarian situation monitoring in early 2021 to identify priority needs among those who remain in the inaccessible areas of Tigray and provide information to aid actors on the ground in Ethiopia and Sudan.