Aid into Ethiopia’s Tigray region can no longer wait: NRC warns

ADDIS ABABA (EI): Aid into Ethiopia’s Tigray region can no longer wait, Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) said on Tuesday.

“Last week, the Ethiopian government agreed a deal with the United Nations that would allow the delivery of critical aid to millions of people, including refugees in Tigray,” Norwegian Refugee Council’s Secretary General, Jan Egeland, said on Tuesday.

“This week, NRC is deeply concerned to find that humanitarian access to the region is still significantly constrained. Children, women and men in Tigray have now borne the brunt of this conflict for more than a month without any emergency assistance from outside the region,” Egeland added.

“These people can no longer be made to wait. Aid must not be left at a standstill. We have been standing ready to deliver food, emergency shelter and other essential materials for weeks, and we expected this deal to clear the way. We strongly urge all authorities in Ethiopia, as well our UN partners, to avoid any further lags and urgently permit humanitarian deliveries, so that we can get help to people who urgently need it.”

On Monday, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) warned that Humanitarian situation continues to “deteriorate rapidly” in Ethiopia’s Northern Tigray regional state as close to 49,000 fled into Sudan amid weeks of fighting.

 “The humanitarian situation in Tigray continues to deteriorate rapidly, one month on since the conflict began in early November,” the UNOCHA said in its latest situation report issued on late Monday, as it emphasized that some 48,992 Ethiopian refugees have fled into Sudan since November 7.

The UNOCHA, which noted that some 850,000 people had been in need of aid before the conflict erupted in early November, also said that 1.1 million additional people are projected to need aid.

“Although verification of the full extent of the crisis is still challenging due to telecommunication blackouts and lack of access, humanitarians on the ground have reported critical shortages of the most basic commodities, including food and water, affecting the whole region, the refugee camps and aid workers living in Tigray,” the statement read.

It also stressed that humanitarian needs have reportedly further increased following the recent clashes in the capital Mekelle, capital of Tigray regional state.

(PHOTO by NRC) shows Leilti and her daughter Lela 1-M

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