UN-Ethiopia: deal reached to increase humanitarian operations

An African child carrying a can. An African child carrying a can. Photo by Dazzle Jam on pexels.

07 February 2021

According to the United Nations (UN), the living conditions of civilians in Tigray have become increasingly worrying.

On Saturday, 6 February 2021, the World Food Programme (WFP) reached a deal with the Ethiopian government to step up humanitarian operations in the region and consequently ensure greater and faster access for humanitarian personnel. The adoption of these measures stems from the urgency to ensure an adequate response to the needs of the population, which for months has been subjected to a state of vulnerability and insecurity caused by the conflict.

According to data collected by the WFP, in the region of Tigray, around 3 million people are in need of emergency food assistance. Restricted access to UN officials and NGOs has also aggravated the already precarious living conditions. In addition, the press has been restricted in its reporting on the situation in Tigray, making it extremely difficult to provide a true picture of living conditions in the territory.

In response to the emergency, the WFP announced the distribution of food aid to cover about 1 million people and the adoption of a feeding program to support 875,000 children and mothers in vulnerable circumstances. The Ethiopian government, meanwhile, pledged to ensure a faster and more simplified approval process for movement requests of the humanitarian staff. A first step towards fulfilling this commitment was the approval granted to 25 international operators to provide assistance within the Tigray region. However, as emphasized by the UN Special Adviser, Alice Wairimu Nderitu, the risk of atrocities in the region remains very high, and urgent measures are needed to be adopted in order to address the causes of tension in the country and promote reconciliation.


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Author: Francesca Mencuccini; Editor: Carla Leonetti

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