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Aid access opens in Tigray, Ethiopia, but not wide enough: UN



Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

– UN humanitarian staff said on Monday that access for aid deliveries in Ethiopia‘s Tigray region is improving since the cessation of hostilities, but is still not up to what is needed.

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The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said it has seen “some gradual but tangible improvements in access” since the signing of the November 2 agreement between the Tigray Popular Front for the Liberation and the federal government.

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Since the middle of the month, relief deliveries began moving to the northernmost region of Tigray, including the regional capital of Mekelle, along the Semera and Kombolcha corridors and to other parts of Tigray along the Gondar corridor in the Amhara region, the office said.

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Additionally, OCHA said UN Humanitarian Air Service flights for staff have resumed for Mekelle and Shire.

However, the more than 450 trucks carrying government, UN and non-governmental organization aid to Tigray between November 15 and 24 are far from what is needed to receive aid in the area, OCHA said. Most of the trucks were carrying food aid and medical and agricultural supplies. Some fuel and cash were brought.

“More than 5 million people are in need of food assistance and approximately 30 percent of children face acute malnutrition,” the office said. “It is critical to sustain and build on these movements to ensure that food and other necessary items can reach all those in need.”

The office said access to most of the neighboring Amhara and Afar areas had also improved in recent weeks.

“We, together with our partners, are providing food and other assistance, including to displaced people and those who have returned,” OCHA said. “We need to be able to scale up our work to help everyone in need.”

The fighting in Tigray lasted almost two years. Now Ethiopia is in a historic drought.

In addition, the office said that the Bale area of ​​the Oromia region and the Liban area of ​​the Somali region are experiencing a cholera outbreak with nearly 500 people affected, including 20 deaths. Hundreds of thousands more remain at risk.

“We, together with our partners, are providing assistance in health, water and sanitation,” OCHA said. “The conflict in western Oromia also continues to drive people from their homes and has hampered our ability to provide aid.” ■


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