Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Ethiopia on brink of humanitarian disaster, says UN agency

The World Food Program has warned that Ethiopia is on the brink of a humanitarian disaster as escalating fighting in the north halts the delivery of essential food to millions of people in war-torn Tigre province.

The last time a food convoy was able to reach Tigre’s capital, Mekele, was in mid-December. Millions of people in the war-torn province have since been deprived of food.

World Food Program spokesman Tomson Firi issued a clear warning to the warring parties and the international community that his agency’s humanitarian operation in northern Ethiopia was about to come to a halt. He says intense fighting in the area is blocking the way for fuel and food.

“The stock of nutrient-rich food to treat malnourished children and women is now exhausted, and the WFP’s final cereals, pulses and oils will be distributed next week,” Phiri said. “Due to the fighting, food delivery is absolutely-short of time. WFP support workers on the ground tell me the warehouses are completely empty.

FILE – A past score of lit vehicles returns from a market in the town of Yechila in rural south central Tigre on July 10, 2021 in Tigre, Ethiopia.

Fighting broke out between Ethiopian government troops and Tigreyan forces in November 2020. Since then the situation has seriously deteriorated. The World Food Program says 9.4 million people in northern Ethiopia now need humanitarian food aid, up 2.7 million from four months ago.

In the Tigre alone, the United Nations says 5.2 million people depend on international aid to survive. It says that 400,000 people are living in famine-like conditions and another two million are on the verge of famine.

The WFP aims to provide food aid for 2.1 million people in Tigre and an additional 1.1 million in the Amhara and Afar regions. However, the money supply is short. The UN food agency is making an urgent appeal for $337 million to fund its emergency food aid program in northern Ethiopia over the next six months.

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This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

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