• The declaration of a state of emergency in Ethiopia, due to the health crisis caused by COVID-19 worldwide, has driven the partnership to focus on activities that do not interfere with the protection of the refugee population’s health. 
  • Alianza Shire is progressing in the finalization of the technical design and training, as well as in the management of equipment and material purchases for on-grid and off-grid components.

After analysing various scenarios, alternatives and implications for the project, Alianza Shire members, together with their partners in the field ZOA and UNHCR, have decided to partially and temporarily suspend their activities in the Tigray refugee camps.

This decision was taken upon the increase in the number of COVID-19 cases during the last weeks in Ethiopia and, consequently, the declaration of the state of emergency, first in the region of Tigray and, since April 8th, in the whole country.

Alianza Shire continues to make progress along all lines that do not interfere with the measures taken by the Ethiopian Government and, above all, to protect the health of the refugee population.

In this way, the partnership will continue to move forward so that, by the time the restrictions are lifted, implementation and technical development will be ready. In addition, the acquisition of poles for the extension of the electricity network in the fields and the launch of the tender for off-grid photovoltaic equipment will begin shortly.

Closure of the Hitsats refugee camp

In addition, Alianza Shire is adapting to the Ethiopian Government’s decision to proceed with the gradual closure of the Hitsats refugee camp in Tigray, one of the four camps where the partnership has been working to provide access to energy and lighting.

The Ethiopian Government’s decision is part of its national policy to insert the refugee population into the civilian life of the country, as reflected in the refugee law passed by the country in January 2019.

Aligned with this decision, Alianza Shire will direct the scope of the project towards the other areas in which work can continue to be done.