Addis Abeba – Following her visit to Mekelle and Shire towns of Tigray, UN Resident & Humanitarian Coordinator in Ethiopia, Catherine Sozi (PhD), said that despite improvements in humanitarian aid delivery in Tigray, the number of people in need of humanitarian assistance remains high and urged to boost the flow of aid to reach all people in need.
According to a report on the local Tigray TV, Catherine Sozi urged everyone to make efforts to ensure that food, medicines and agricultural inputs enter the region in all directions.
Her visit includes to hospitals in Mekelle including Ayder Referral Hospital which was on the verge of collapse due to shortage of medicines before the peace agreement.
Catherine praised the peace agreement signed between the federal government of Ethiopia and regional authorities for it opened the door to reach the suffering people with emergency food aid and medicines.
The UN said that 435 trucks carrying 17,000 metric tones of food supplies and another 19 trucks carrying 780 metric tones non-food items and medical supplies have reached in Tigray between 15 – 24 November by the government of Ethiopia and humanitarian partners.
The World Food Program (WFP) on its part said it has delivered over 2,400 metric tons of food, medicine, nutrition and other lifesaving supplies to the region since Mid November, and said the aid delivery does not match the demand on the ground.
WFP added that urgent access to all parts of the region is required to reach 2.3 million vulnerable people who need emergency food aid. “Despite newly gained humanitarian access via Amhara into districts in the northwestern and southern zones of Tigray, access into some parts of eastern and central zones of Tigray remain constrained – affecting up to 170,000 mothers and children in need of food assistance,” WFP cautioned.
More than 70MT of urgently needed medicines & emergency medical supplies were dispatched to Tigray from WHO Ethiopia and the Ministry of Health (MoH) which arrived in Mekelle on Friday, according to the WHO Ethiopia office, which added that “more medical supplies to be dispatched by road & air to meet the immense needs in Tigray.”
The two years of conflict has left more than 13.6 million people in need of humanitarian assistance, according to the WFP. Of this 5.4 million are in Tigray, constituting 90% of the population in the region; seven million in Amhara and 1.2 million people in Afar.
Across Ethiopia, 22 million people need food assistance including some 9.8 million people in the drought-affected southern and southeastern parts of the country, according to the UN. AS