Ethiopia: Humanitarian aid needed as situation deteriorates in Tigray, says UN
As the dire humanitarian situation in Tigray, Ethiopia continues to deteriorate, the United Nations has emphasised that it is is critical to establish a regular flow of humanitarian aid into the region.
- United States
As the dire humanitarian situation in Tigray, Ethiopia continues to deteriorate, the United Nations has emphasised that it is is critical to establish a regular flow of humanitarian aid into the region. Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesman for the UN Secretary-General said this on Wednesday.
Around 500 trucks of humanitarian supplies are required per week, Farhan Haq informed journalists at a regular press briefing. On Tuesday, almost 40 trucks with humanitarian supplies, including food, left the Afar capital of Semera for Tigray - the first convoy to do so since October 18.
Meanwhile, trucks containing fuel and medical supplies are still waiting for clearance in Semera. In November 2020, heavy fighting between central Government troops and those loyal to the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) have left Ethiopia's northern regions of Tigray, Amhara and Afar in dire need of humanitarian assistance.
And after months of killings, looting and destruction of health centres and farming infrastructure, including irrigation systems that are vital to the production effort, those needs have only surged. Currently, some seven million people throughout the country are suffering acute food insecurity.
Meanwhile following their suspension on October 22, UN Humanitarian Air Service flights to Mekelle have resumed, allowing the UN and humanitarian partners to rotate staff in and out of Tigray and transfer a limited amount of operational cash. However, said the Deputy Spokesperson, "humanitarian partners on the ground continue to report significant challenges due to cash shortages for operations".
Despite a $40 total injection of new resources to Ethiopia - $25 million from CERF and $15 million from the country-based Ethiopia Humanitarian Fund (EHF) - the country still faces a funding gap of $1.3 billion, including $350 million for the response in Tigray. Despite an extremely challenging operating environment, humanitarian partners continue to respond to urgent and growing needs across northern Ethiopia, including in Amhara and Afar.
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