Statement to BBC World Service (Newshour) in response to World Peace Foundation’s report on the situation in Tigray

6 Apr 2021
Full statement submitted to BBC World Service Radio (Newshour) in response to World Peace Foundation’s report, “Starving Tigray“. An excerpt of the statement was read out on the programme, which was broadcast live on Tuesday, 6 April at 14:06 BST)

The Embassy of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia rejects, in the strongest terms, the unsubstantiated accusations by the World Peace Foundation that the Government of Ethiopia is “starving the people of Tigray” and using “starvation as a weapon of war”. The facts on the ground are entirely detached from the situation painted in the report, which deliberately ignores the fact that TPLF callously started the brutal attack on the Northern Command of the Ethiopian Defence Force (ENDF), just before the harvest season. Furthermore, the group deliberately destroyed much of the region’s physical and public infrastructure to aid its retreat from federal forces.

With the conclusion of the law enforcement operation, the Government’s main priority remains to rebuild and rehabilitate the Region by ensuring that urgent humanitarian needs are addressed. The Government has, thus far, taken concrete steps to comprehensively respond to the humanitarian needs on the ground by delivering life-saving food supplies to over 4.2 million citizens in Tigray, in coordination with local and international partners.

It should be made clear that 1.8 million people in Tigray were already living on safety net programmes over the last two decades whilst the Region was governed by the TPLF. Furthermore, recent events such as the locust infestation, the COVID-19 pandemic and the TPLF’s warmongering have exacerbated the food security situation in the Region.

It is also to be recalled that the Government of Ethiopia granted unimpeded access to humanitarian agencies operating in the Tigray Region. However, while several organisations are now scaling up their response to the humanitarian situation, the Government of Ethiopia is still covering 70% of the costs of the ongoing relief operations from its limited resources, while the remaining 30% is being covered by development partners and NGOs.

Despite the progress made thus far, the Government of Ethiopia recognises that the humanitarian situation on the ground remains complex. That is why the Embassy is, once again, appealing to the international community and development partners to stand with Ethiopia at this critical time by helping augment the Government’s lifesaving efforts.

The Embassy is also fully aware of the vested interests of some personalities in the World Peace Foundation, who, in a desperate attempt to revive the TPLF, will not hesitate to document fabricated stories under the guise of free and independent analysis.

—ENDS—

For further information, please contact the Press Office on 020 7838 3883 | press@ethioembassy.org.uk

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