News: More than 11 million people in Amhara state in need of food assistance, region hosting 263,000 IDPs

This week, Yotor Farmers’ Charity Association has donated over 600 quintals of wheat flour worth over 2.4 million birr to IDPs displaced Wag Hamra Administrative zone. Picture: AMC

Addis Abeba – Amhara regional State said 11.6 million people in the region alone are in need of food aid and that the region is hosting some 263,000 displaced people, according to Gizachew Muluneh, Amhara State Government Communication Affairs Bureau Head. He told state media that this was putting pressure on the economy of the region that was already affected by war.

According to Gizachew, displaced people from Wag Hemra border areas, Alamata and Korem were coming into Kobo area; similarly others who are displaced from the northern part of the region were coming to Debark. He added that there were also people displaced from outside the region who are now coming as IDPs to the region, and their properties were looted and burned, which is impacting the region’s economic and social activities.

Similarly, UNOCHA’s latest Northern Ethiopia access snapshot show that Eastern Amhara is among the most heavily affected areas due to the expansion of armed clashes from Tigray in 2021. “In North and South Wollo zones, partners scaled-up the response to assist hundreds of thousands of IDP returnees. Access to some kebeles bordering southern Tigray in Raya Alamata woreda, especially in Raya Kobo, remained limited due to sporadic clashes,” UNOCHA said.

Most of Wag Hemra has become accessible, including Lalibela and Sekota towns, while Abergele and Tsagbeji woredas remain hard to reach. In North Gondar, sporadic hostilities were reported in Addi Arkay woreda and humanitarian workers have not been able to “mobilize any aid through Gondar – May Tsebri – Shire since June.”

Gizachew said that this was putting pressure on the economy of the region that was already affected by war.

Gizachew said the regional government was working with the federal government and humanitarian partners to provide humanitarian assistance, including clothing and food aid. However, the support was not enough and more was needed to ensure that citizens were not harmed more than they already are and that their lives were protected.

A great number of people who would otherwise have played a part in the development of the local economy are now out of work, Gizachew said, more money is needed to rehabilitate them and that will in turn put pressure on the local government’s economy.

Gizachew stressed that in order to minimize this pressure, there was need to work with neighboring states to ensure lasting peace in the region, and to end the root causes that are contributing to the displacement of people. To bring about the best solution, it is necessary to consult together and to bring all stakeholders to be a part of the solution, he said. AS

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