News: US appreciates fed. gov, Afar and Tigray authorities for increased humanitarian supply; calls for essential services restoration

Humanitarian workers meeting with affected population/host community in Nablet town, Emba Senyti Woreda, Tigray region, Ethiopia, June 2021. ©UNOCHA/Archive

Addis Abeba – The United States government “welcomes the progress in securing more regular access for humanitarian assistance to communities in need in the Afar, Amhara, and Tigray regions and appreciated the federal government and authorities in Afar and Tigray regional states for their “cooperation” to facilitate the delivery of this assistance. The U.S. also appreciated “efforts of the United Nations agencies, international organizations, U.S. government partners, and humanitarian organizations across Ethiopia.”

In a statement released last night, the US government said “in the past seven days, more than 1,100 trucks have reached Tigray to deliver life-saving food, malnutrition treatment and health supplies, and other essential relief items to those who are most vulnerable as a result of the hard work of all the humanitarians committed to saving lives.”

While encouraging the parties “to continue to build on this momentum and advance to talks to achieve a sustainable end of conflict”, the US also called for the “immediate restoration of essential services in conflict-affected areas and support an inclusive political process to provide security and prosperity for all Ethiopians, and accountability for human rights violations committed by all parties.”

Despite repeated calls, essential services in Tigray, including telecom and banking, remain disconnected.

According to the latest figure from the UNOCHA, “over 193,000 people received food in Tigray compared to 80,000 people the previous week as stock availability improved. In total, about 512,000 people received food since 1 April, following an interruption of more than three months. The report also cautioned that “the fuel reserve in Tigray remains very limited, severely hindering humanitarian operations.”

The report also said nutrition partners alone “need about 24,000 liters of fuel to dispatch available nutrition supplies, including lifesaving therapeutic milk and ready to use therapeutic and supplementary foods, to about 240 health facilities across the region.”

Afar state alleged that within two days “20 trucks” carrying “more than 5,000 liters of unauthorized fuel” were intercepted by Serdo customs

However, this week, Demeke Mekonnen, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, accused aid agencies of making “…efforts to transport more fuel than allowed and some banned equipment that can be used to carry out the terror group’s aims.” He also cautioned that “special attention should be given to prevent equipment from being transferred to the TPLF.”

On Tuesday o8 June, two days after the accusation by FM Demeke, the Afar regional state media reported that regional authorities seized “more than 5,000 liters of illegal fuel” being transported “into Tigray State.”

The report alleged that within two days “20 trucks” carrying “more than 5,000 liters of unauthorized fuel” were intercepted by Serdo customs. The report said that the trucks were also carrying “humanitarian aid” destined for Tigray. AS

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