Only 4% of required aid has reached Tigray during mini-truce, says WHO chief
Three weeks after the mini-truce in the Tigray region of Ethiopia, an underwhelming 4% of required food aid has reached targeted areas.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO), said less than a hundred trucks had entered the region in almost a month.
He said in a tweet:
A truce was called 3+ weeks ago, but only 69 humanitarian trucks, 4% of the needs, have been allowed in. Situation is dire. People are dying, the siege must end for real.
Food aid is delivered into Tigray, mostly by road through the Afar region and for the situation to normalise, humanitarian aid givers say 100 trucks must enter the region with food, non-food items, and fuel every day.
Eritrean and Ethiopian forces are blamed for sealing “off seven million people from the world” in a war that started in November 2020. They are fighting against the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), a left-wing ethnic nationalist paramilitary group.
Both warring factions are blamed for gross human rights violations. The Ethiopian National Disaster Risk Management Commission (NDRMC) in a statement said TPLF’s invasion of the Afar State, where the fighting has moved since the mini-truce in Tigray, had resulted in 1.3 million citizens in need of immediate food aid.
NDRMC added that the new war frontier was affecting food aid delivery in crisis spots.
NDRMC public relations head Debebe Zewde said in a statement:
The conflict is not only increasing the displaced citizens but also the main hindrance to providing the necessary humanitarian support to the needy.
The fighting in Afar could compromise the mini-truce and the possibility of peace talks.
Meanwhile, to address challenges related to the conflict – such as the destruction of private and public assets, gender-based violence, sexual abuse, and hunger – the World Bank has approved an R4.8-billion International Development Association (IDA) grant for the Response-Recovery-Resilience for Conflict-Affected Communities in Ethiopia Project.
“The project will support efforts to address the immediate needs of communities, rehabilitate/recover infrastructure destroyed by conflict, and increase community resilience to the impacts of conflict in a sustainable manner,” said the World Bank.
The project will be aimed at the Afar, Amhara, Benishangul-Gumuz, Oromia, and Tigray regions, which have been highly impacted by the ongoing conflict.
The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), was established in 1960, to help the world’s poorest countries through the provision of grants for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives.