The Ethiopian region of Tigray is facing a serious humanitarian crisis caused by hunger , a consequence of the war that the area has been suffering for eight months and that confronts the Ethiopian government and the Tigré People’s Liberation Front . According to the UN, more than 400,000 people “have crossed the threshold of famine ” and calls for urgent humanitarian action to help the millions of people affected by the armed conflict.
Ramesh Rajasingham , Acting Under- Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and UN Relief and Emergency Coordinator, told the Security Council this week that the situation had “dramatically worsened” as the conflict had reignited in recent weeks, after that last month the rebels launched a major counteroffensive and retaken the regional capital, Mekele .
The last week were destroyed two key bridges that allowed the entry of aid to the region , prompting accusations that the Ethiopian government sought to disrupt humanitarian assistance, which he denied. “Lives will be lost if the supply routes to Tigray are not fully reopened and the parties to the conflict continue to interrupt or endanger the free movement of goods for the food program and other emergency services,” they say from the UN.
According to the United Nations , “it is estimated that more than 400,000 people have crossed the threshold and another 1.8 million are on the brink of famine . Some suggest that the numbers are even higher. Some 33,000 children are severely malnourished . many of these people (in Tigray) depend on our ability to reach them with food, medicine, nutritional supplies and other humanitarian assistance, “added the representative of the organization.
An entrenched conflict
Assistant Secretary – General for Political Affairs of the Security Council of the UN , Rosemary DiCarlo , on Friday urged the “immediate and full” military group of Tigray to support the ceasefire . Last November, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed , winner of the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize, sent troops to this region to detain and disarm the leaders of the Tigré People’s Liberation Front, and this Tuesday declared a unilateral ceasefire that it does not seem to have been respected.
The United States estimates that 900,000 people are already “experiencing conditions caused by famine,” they say in a statement released by the Europa Press agency. The UN World Food Program (WFP) states that 5.2 million people , 91% of Tigray’s population, are in need of emergency food assistance.