UN reports recognize that there is a “surging humanitarian needs” in the Amhara and Afar regions of Ethiopia
In what appears to be an implied acknowledgement that humanitarian assistance is needed outside the Tigray region of Ethiopia, UN Humanitarian Chief Mr. Martin Griffins said it is his “highest priority” to ensure that “every Ethiopian who needs assistance receives it,” as reported by UN News.
Furthermore, a UN news report said “The nine-month conflict that erupted in Tigray between federal troops and forces loyal to the northern region’s rulers has spilled into neighbouring Amhara and Afar regions, where humanitarian needs are also surging.”
However, the report unspecified about the number of people that are in need of food assistance outside the Tigray region, while it made claims that 5.2 million people in the Tigray region need food aid.
Local news sources indicated that well over 300,000 people are in need of emergency aid in the Amhara region and over 75,000 people in the Afar region were displaced after the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) forces took the war to those regions in war say is pursuit to control the road to Djibouti and Sudan corridor.
Mr. Griffins was on a working visit to Ethiopia since last week and spent two days in the Tigray region, where he said he talked with women affected by the conflict.
As he concluded his visit, he said, as quoted in a UN report, “We need to change the circumstances that have led to the slow movement of aid – we need the conflict to stop.”
Also, he tweeted, “I will continue to personally engage in ensuring aid can reach every Ethiopian in need, and to ensure aid workers are protected. Getting aid to every Ethiopian in humanitarian need– be they in Tigray, in Amhara, in Afar, or indeed in any region–is my highest priority.”
The UN humanitarian chief also recognized the need to work with the Ethiopian government to address the situation.
Muferiat Kamil, Minister for Peace, on Wednesday said the Ethiopian government could provide humanitarian assistance if the TPLF stops disrupting the effort.
The Ethiopian government claimed that it has spent over 100 billion Ethiopian birr ( well over US $2.5 billion ) in the Tigray region alone since the conflict broke out in November 2020. The amount is ten times higher than the Federal government budget for the region.
When the government forces withdrew from the region to enforce what the government called unilateral humanitarian ceasefire, over 400,000 quintals of food and over 1.5 million liters of edible oil were in the warehouse in the region.
UN food agencies claim that 100 trucks of food have to arrive daily in Tigray to address the situation in the region. “It is a calculated one,” Mr. Griffins claimed, although it is unclear how long the 100 truck a day delivery is needed.
On the other hand, the humanitarian aid needed in the rest of the country has not been given the attention it deserves, including by international humanitarian organizations.
There has been mounting foreign pressure on the Ethiopian government over the blockade of aid access to the Tigray region of Ethiopia.