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WFP appeals for US$107 million to tackle food security in Ethiopia’s Tigray region

Ethiopian Tigray
Ethiopian Tigray

The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) on Friday appealed for an urgent 107 million U.S. dollars to meet its emergency response requirements in Ethiopia’s conflict-affected Tigray region.

The funding will help buy and deliver food for 1 million people and provide specialized nutrition support for 875,000 children and pregnant or nursing mothers after months of insecurity, the agency announced in a statement. WFP’s response, which was requested by the Ethiopian government, includes logistical support to both the government and humanitarian partners to deliver humanitarian assistance in Tigray, especially in rural areas.

“Three million people in the region are in urgent need of food assistance,” said Steven Were Omamo, WFP Representative and Country Director in Ethiopia. “For WFP to contribute to meeting their needs, funds are needed now, so that life-saving food and nutrition support can urgently reach the most vulnerable people,” Omamo said.

The agency said if sufficient funding is secured, it will augment the transportation capacity of both the government and partners to deliver additional humanitarian assistance to those in need in Tigray, especially in rural areas.

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Instability in the Tigray region has generated a severe food security and nutrition emergency, requiring an immediate response. The humanitarian response’s food cluster estimates that 3 million people need emergency food assistance and these needs are expected to persist at least until late this year. The current food insecurity in the Tigray region is attributable to factors including conflict, loss of employment and income, disruption of markets and movement, loss of harvests, increased food prices, and severe difficulties accessing cash and fuel.

On Wednesday, the Ethiopian government said humanitarian assistance have been provided to some 3.1 million people in the country’s troubled regional state. The government’s contribution to humanitarian assistance is said to be about 70 percent while international partner’s share of assistance is 30 percent.

Weeks of fighting in northern Ethiopia’s Tigray between the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which used to rule the regional state until its defeat, and the Ethiopian Defense Forces had reportedly left hundreds of people dead, thousands displaced, and millions in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. The Ethiopian government has assigned an interim administration to administer the regional state following the TPLF defeat.