Aid deliveries into Ethiopia’s Tigray far from enough: UN

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Aid deliveries by road into Ethiopia’s conflict-hit Tigray region remain far below what is required to meet people’s needs, UN humanitarians said.

Since the start of April, some 350 trucks carrying aid have arrived along the Semera-Abala-Mekelle corridor through neighbouring Afar region, Xinhua news agency quoted the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) as saying.

A convoy of 99 trucks, the largest for many months, arrived in Tigray’s capital Mekelle on Tuesday, carrying more than 3,600 metric tonnes of food aid, some 40 metric tons of household items and another 40 metric tons of education items, said the OCHA.

About 1.5 million people have received food assistance over the past seven months in Northern Ethiopia. However, this is only about a quarter of the number of people who needed assistance, it said.

Compounding the humanitarian situation in Tigray, the Office said, is the continued suspension of basic essential services, including banking, electricity, and communications.

In the neighbouring Amhara region to the south, more than 10 million people have received aid in the current round of food distribution beginning in late December.

However, some locations near the boundary with Tigray remain hard for UN humanitarians and partners to reach due to security concerns.

In Afar region to the southeast of Tigray, over 800,000 people have received food assistance since February.

Twenty-three water trucks have reached about 90,000 people in displacement sites and other areas of need last week, said OCHA.

Needs also remain high in southern regions of Ethiopia where more than 8 million people are affected by the ongoing drought.

The drought crisis has left more than 15 million people across Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya facing high levels of acute food insecurity, it said.

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