Last week, Tigray Region’s Interim President, Getachew Reda, expressed grave concern about the severe drought and famine ravaging the region. He likened the situation to the 1985 famine and appealed urgently for emergency aid from both the Federal government and the international community.
However, Legesse Tulu, Minister of Federal Government Communications Services, rejected Getachew’s statement. “The recent assertion from the Tigray Interim Administration is absolutely inaccurate,” he asserted. He claimed that, alongside international aid agencies, has provided 15.2 billion birr worth of aid to those affected by both natural and man-made disasters in the Afar, Amhara, and Tigray Regions since July. He also dismissed claims that starvation in Tigray has reached the level seen in 1985, stating that the humanitarian crisis in the region has been politicized.
Reda responded critically to Tulu’s statement, expressing discontent. “Treating victims’ desperate cry for help as ‘politicizing the crisis’ is a regrettable politicization of this grave crisis,” Getachew wrote in a long status update which he shared on Sunday.
He further emphasized “…there is nothing political about calling for urgent intervention to save millions of Tigrayans. Aid agencies on the ground as well as international media outlets have extensively documented the extent of the unfolding humanitarian crisis. ”
Getachew, it seems, anticipated the famine crisis in the region, noting in his social media update “…That Tigray would experience acute humanitarian crisis in the aftermath of a destructive war& insufficient Rainfall causing drought shouldn’t be a controversial proposition…”
He urged a concerted effort to counter what he described as “a complex humanitarian calamity unfolding in Tigray.” The actions he wants is for Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to “instruct his Government to fulfil its obligations to its own citizens & help avert a looming catastrophe.” Additionally, he appealed to the international community to provide adequate aid urgently.
Multiple reports from local Ethiopian news sources indicate a worsening famine in the Afar, Amhara, and Tigray regions of Ethiopia, with millions of citizens facing chronic famine conditions.
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