The Government of Ethiopia Continues to Ensure Unhindered Humanitarian Access to Tigray

5 Aug 2022

It is to be recalled that the Government of Ethiopia declared an indefinite humanitarian truce on March 24 to expedite the delivery of humanitarian assistance in the Tigray Region. The Government, in partnership with aid organisations, has since managed to deliver over 5,648 lorries of much-needed food, nutrition, and fuel to the Tigray Region. This endeavour allowed the delivery of over 210, 131 metric tons of food supplies, 20,810 metric tons of non-food items, and over 300 metric tons of medicine to 5.2 million beneficiaries across the Region. Statements from the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) could confirm these facts. The Organisations’ Country Director for Northern Ethiopia, Adrian Van der Knapp, in an interview with BBC Africa, said the humanitarian truce allowed WFP to bring humanitarian supplies into Tigray. He further remarked, “the risk of famine in the Tigray Region has been averted”. As such, any question on the part of the TPLF about a humanitarian blockade is not tenable.

Additionally, the Ministry of Finance has agreed to waive tax on the importation of up to 2 million litres of fuel per month through the Djibouti Port to further expedite the distribution of humanitarian supplies in the Tigray Region.

The Ministry has also signed a Third-Party Implementation Agreement with the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) to implement the World Bank-financed Recovery Project in Tigray. This agreement is part of Ethiopia’s national recovery program: 1) to rebuild essential services and climate-resilient community infrastructure and 2) to improve access to multisectoral response services for Gender-Based Violence (GBV) survivors in selected conflict-affected communities in Ethiopia.

Conversely, the TPLF continued to derail the delivery of humanitarian support in the Region by hijacking aid lorries. Out of 5,648 lorries that went to Tigray thus far, the TPLF confiscated 1,594 and turned them into military purposes. The government repeatedly flagged this to the International Community and urged the TPLF to return all lorries and help expedite the delivery of the aid.

While expressing its gratefulness to the donor community for their solidarity in providing support, the Government of Ethiopia is further calling upon the international community to close the outstanding gap of $338 million to meet humanitarian needs across the northern part of the country. A total of $957 million is required to fully cater to the needs of 9.4 million people in the Afar, Tigray and Amhara Regions. The total amount of funding raised so far stands at $637 million. Efforts to rehabilitate people displaced by the conflict and drought should also be prioritised.

Apart from the existing humanitarian need in the northern part of Ethiopia, there emerged acute food shortages in other parts of the country as well. The shortage is caused by climate change and constitutes the large-scale drought currently being experienced in the Horn of Africa. The Government has responded in good time and has been working to address the shortage through national efforts, mainly through the disaster risk management system. Yet, much is required to fully cater to the daily mounting need. The international community is encouraged to intensify its support to meet the humanitarian needs across the country.

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