Statement on Allegations of the Use of “Starvation as a Weapon of War” in Tigray

5 Jun 2021

The Embassy of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia rejects, in the strongest terms, unsubstantiated allegations that starvation is being used “as a weapon of war” in Tigray. The Government of Ethiopia takes its responsibility to end the current suffering of the people of Tigray very seriously and has so far made concerted efforts to comprehensively respond to the humanitarian needs on the ground, in coordination with local and international partners.

  • Food and non-food items for 4.5 million beneficiaries have been delivered in the first round, while in the second and third rounds, 4.3 million beneficiaries have been reached
  • So far, 166,264 metric tonnes of food costing $131 million (5.2 billion Birr) has been distributed. The food distributed to the region in the first and second rounds was covered by the Government of Ethiopia (70%) and partners (30%).
  • In addition to the Government of Ethiopia, five other operators namely World Food Program (WFP), World Vision, CARE, Relief Society of Tigray (REST), and Food for the Hungry, are currently providing food assistance in the region.
  • Out of the 93 woredas (districts) in the region, WFP, World Vision, CARE, REST, and Food for the Hungry cover 79 woredas (86%), while the Government of Ethiopia covers 14 woredas (14%). This shows that the Government of Ethiopia has been working closely with development partners and has created a conducive environment for humanitarian partners.
  • More than 202 staff members of UN agencies, international NGO’s and over 80 journalists have so far been provided access to Tigray to support and coordinate the emergency response in the Region.
  • Most parts of the Region are now accessible, creating a conducive environment to speed up the delivery of food and non-food supplies. In the areas where the safe movement of humanitarian cargos are strained, military escort has been made available as a last resort to get access and reach those in need
  • The Ministry of Agriculture has allocated 10 million birr to strengthen the regional agriculture and natural resource bureau. A total of 537,728 quintals of fertilisers have been made available thus far. 73,440 quintals of seeds have also been purchased and transported to the Region, with partners allocating Birr 71.9 million birr for livestock restocking

Despite the progress made thus far, the Government of Ethiopia acknowledges that though there have been significant challenges brought on by the TPLF’s armed insurrection in November, it remains fully committed to rebuilding and rehabilitating the region, address the urgent humanitarian needs and enable the return of normalcy for the people of Tigray.

With the Government’s continued provision of food assistance to the Region, allegations of starvation being used as a weapon of war are unfounded and politically motivated. The concoction of figures and stories to push a particular global narrative does not serve the people of Tigray in whose name the fabrications are spun for fundraising, relevance, and other interests.

Ethiopia has also shown readiness and willingness to positively and constructively engage with partners. The Embassy of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia thus calls upon its development partners and the wider international community to stand with Ethiopia at this critical time by helping augment the Government’s efforts to ensure the provision of humanitarian aid and critical services to the people of Tigray.

—ENDS—

For further information, please contact the Press Office: press@ethioembassy.org.uk

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