Aid access to the Tigray region of Ethiopia has been gradually opening up since fighting ended early last month, UN humanitarians said.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said food and other supplies are being transported into Tigray through four corridors in the neighbouring Afar and Amhara regions, reports Xinhua news agency.
“Between November 15 and December 8, the government of Ethiopia and our partners have mobilised more than 1,600 trucks to deliver more than 63,800 metric tonnes of food and more than 4,000 metric tonnes of health, shelter, education, protection supplies, as well as water, sanitation and hygiene supplies,” said the office.
Nutrition and health supply airlifts and passenger flights for much-needed personnel are scaling up the relief response. On December 9, the first road convoy for humanitarian staff from Mekelle to Shire, within Tigray, occurred and continues, it said.
“Given the scale of the needs and the previous interruptions to aid, we need to ensure these deliveries are sustained at scale.”
Work on restoring electric power and telecommunications is underway. Electricity, telephone and internet service was restored in Axum and Shire towns and elsewhere. This has a positive impact on humanitarian operations and communities. But further progress is needed on the resumption of basic services for the population, OCHA said.
The office said that aid and rehabilitation work is scaling up in the conflict-affected areas of Afar and Amhara, adding that more is needed, especially in areas with improved security where displaced people are returning to their homes.
Ethiopia, Africa’s second most populous nation, has seen a devastating conflict between government-allied troops and forces loyal to the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) since November 2020, which left thousands dead and millions in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.
The Ethiopian government and the TPLF on November 2 signed a cessation of hostilities to end the conflict.