Africa

UN: Aid to Ethiopia’s Tigray region lowest since last March

Humanitarian aid to Tigray remains suspended due to ongoing clashes in Aballa, Afar

Busra Nur Cakmak   | 21.01.2022
UN: Aid to Ethiopia’s Tigray region lowest since last March

ANKARA

The UN said Friday humanitarian aid to the Tigray region in northern Ethiopia is at the lowest since last March due to ongoing conflict.

“We are told that still no humanitarian supplies have entered Tigray though the Semera-Abala-Mekelle corridor since Dec. 14 of last year due to continued clashes in Abala, in the Afar province,” Stephane Dujarric, spokesperson for Secretary General Antonio Guterres, said in a noon briefing.

“No fuel for humanitarian operations has been allowed into Tigray along this route since Aug. 2. Aid organizations are also unable to secure sufficient fuel locally,” he added.

Due to ongoing clashes, the UN humanitarian agencies and its partners had to reduce, postpone, or cancel humanitarian aid distributions such as food, medicine, nutrition supplies and other critical items, said Dujarric.

“Between the 6th and 12th of January, some 10,500 people received food aid in Tigray, but more than 800,000 people need to be helped every week. This is the lowest level of food assistance since operations expanded in March of last year,” he said, adding that remaining supplies can only assist 28,000 more people.

Access to health care

Only 145,000 children could be vaccinated against measles out of 800,000, said Dujarric, adding “health partners tell us that the campaign is facing serious challenges, including, of course, the lack of fuel and the lack of cash that we’ve been telling you about, and the limited cold chain capacity, and shortages of health care workers.”

Dujarric said that humanitarian response has been scaled up in accessible areas in Amhara and Afar adding over 578,000 people in Amhara received food, over 40,000 received shelter and other items in the past week.

The International Committee of the Red Cross said Tuesday that residents in the Amhara, Afar and Tigray regions are suffering from a lack of basic health services.

Red Cross said the residents are the worst affected by the year-long conflict in northern Ethiopia, noting that in some instances, patients with chronic illnesses were dying.

The World Health Organization last week joined other aid organizations working in Ethiopia in slamming a government blockade on health relief to the Tigray region.

The UN health organization lamented that Ethiopia has prevented the delivery of health supplies to Tigray since July.

The war in Ethiopia between Tigrayan and government forces has been waging on for more than a year.

Since November 2020, the bloody war between the two sides has left the economy battered, devastated infrastructure and left thousands dead and many displaced.

A joint report by the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights accuses Tigray Special Forces, Eritrean Defense Force and the Ethiopian National Defense Force of destroying infrastructure.

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