Ethiopia says aid delivery to Tigray continuing
Access issue resolved after government reduces checkpoints to 2 from 7
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia
Ethiopia said Thursday that the government and its international partners have continued to send food to its northernmost region of Tigray.
"Humanitarian flights for personnel, cargo and cash are still ongoing, and movement is being undertaken from Addis [Ababa] to Mekelle through UN Humanitarian Air Service flights," Billene Seyoum, the spokeswoman at the office of the prime minister, said at a press briefing.
An EU Humanitarian Air Bridge has also started humanitarian flights to the Tigray region, she said.
"As of Sept. 14, 2021, 32 partners have been granted permits to transport ETB144 million [$3.14 million] to Mekelle for their humanitarian operations.
"Humanitarian partners WFP [World Food Program] and JEOP [Food Assistance in Ethiopia] are currently operating in the Tigray region and dispatching food to woredas [districts] and distributing to beneficiaries," she said.
Seyoum said that as of Sept. 14, 2021, humanitarian partners had deployed 590 trucks to transport humanitarian cargoes from Semera to Mekelle.
Accordingly, 15,005 metric tons of food (wheat, oil, pulses, corn and soybeans) and 5,785 tons of non-food items were transported (water, sanitation and hygiene and health and shelter).
The aid included 759,235 liters of fuel and 1,036 metric tons of seeds.
No trucks are stranded in Semera and at check points at the moment, she said, but indicated her government's concern that hundreds of trucks entering Tigray were not being returned.
She said since checkpoints have been decreased from 7 to 2, movement of humanitarian assistance into the region has been facilitated by the government and no access issues have been noted.
Currently, forces of the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) are launching attacks in neighboring regions of Afar and Amhara after a June 29 unilateral cease-fire declared by the federal government and subsequent troop withdrawal from Tigray.
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