The crisis in Tigray reaches its sixth month

 Young girl in a hut. Young girl in a hut. Photo by ranplett on iStock.

20 April 2021

The United Nations Children’s Fund denounces serious violations against children’s rights as the fight continues in Tigray.

The spokesman for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), James Elder, has denounced the continuing abuses against civilians in the northern region of Ethiopia before the United Nations (UN) in Geneva. UNICEF described the conflict in the country as a “protection crisis” affecting many children. 

The Tigray region, located in the northern part of Ethiopia, is the theatre of a conflict that reached its sixth month in April 2021. Despite the Ethiopian government's declared commitment to securing the region, hostilities and violations of civilians’ rights have not ceased.

Civilians are subjected to gender-based violence, malnutrition, and an educational crisis, compounded by difficulties for humanitarian workers to access the region. UNICEF has denounced that from 1 January to 16 April 2021, it received an average of three reports per day of cases of gender-based violence against women and girls. The impact of the education crisis on children is devastating. 1.4 million children have not returned to school since March 2020, having the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the already precarious access to education. The nutritional emergency is becoming more and more widespread in an area that has already been experiencing a steady increase in the number of malnourished children in need of life-saving treatment for several years.

International assistance in Tigray has increased over the last month, but the humanitarian response to date is still insufficient. Indeed, the appeal promoted by UNICEF Ethiopia for the Tigray region amounts to $47.6 million, of which more than half has not yet been funded. Moreover, the UNICEF spokesman, during the press briefing at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, urged all those with influence on the actors involved in the conflict to condemn the abuses committed against the rights of civilians.


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Author: Francesca Mencuccini; Editor: Carla Leonetti

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