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Humanitarian aid has started to trickle into Ethiopia’s Tigray: UN

Antonio Guterres
Antonio Guterres

Humanitarian assistance has started to gradually trickle into Ethiopia’s Tigray region although access is limited in areas where conflict is ongoing, said a UN spokesman on Wednesday.

The World Health Organization has dispatched emergency health supplies enough to treat more than 10,000 patients for three months. Additional medical supplies are on the way, said Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

The World Food Programme managed to deliver food for 35,000 refugees in Adi Harush and Mai Ayni camps this week. But the convoy to Hitsats and Shimelba refugee camps has returned due to insecurity in the area, he told a press briefing. Water treatment chemicals were also provided to internally displaced people in northern Amhara as well as western Tigray.

Water, sanitation, hygiene and non-food items are also prepositioned in northern Amhara and western Afar for 5,000 internally displaced people, he said.

UN agencies have agreed with the relevant authorities on setting up a temporary humanitarian information-sharing mechanism to facilitate access, movements, safety and security of humanitarian assets, personnel and activities in Tigray. And this includes border areas where there may be people in need, he said.

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In the meantime, the United Nations continues to engage with the Ethiopian government and all relevant interlocutors for the safe passage of humanitarian personnel and supplies to all parts of the Tigray state, said the spokesman.

Since Nov. 4, the Ethiopian government has been undertaking military operations against the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which rules Ethiopia’s northernmost Tigray state. The federal government’s operations followed the TPLF’s attack on a command base of the Ethiopian Defense Force in Mekelle city, capital of Tigray.

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