Statement to Channel 4 News on Allegations of “Starvation as a Weapon of War” in Tigray

6 Apr 2021
Full statement submitted to Channel 4 News in response to their report on food shortages and allegations of hunger ‘used as a weapon of war’ in Tigray conflict (Jamal Osman, Tuesday, 6 April 2021)

The Embassy of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia would like to reiterate the Government’s enduring priority, at this time, is to rebuild and rehabilitate the Tigray Region, and address the urgent humanitarian needs that have occurred within the context of the conflict triggered by the TPLF.

The Embassy also rejects, in the strongest terms, the unsubstantiated allegations by the World Peace Foundation that the Government of Ethiopia is “starving the people of Tigray” and is 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 Defense Forces, just before the harvest season.

It should be made clear that 1.8 million people in Tigray were already living on safety net programmes over the last two decades. 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.

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 rehabilitating the region by prioritising provision of humanitarian relief. In doing so, the Government has so far made concerted efforts to comprehensively respond to the humanitarian needs on the ground by delivering lifesaving food supplies to over 4.2 million citizens in Tigray, in coordination with local and international partners.

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. The Embassy therefore calls upon the international community and development partners to support Ethiopia at this critical time by helping augment the Government’s lifesaving efforts.

—ENDS—

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

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