Some aid operations curtailed or closed due to volatile N. Ethiopia conflict: UN

Oct 22, 2021

Some aid operations curtailed or closed due to volatile N. Ethiopia conflict: UN

United Nations, October 22: Some assistance programs had to be curtailed or closed due to the intensifying, unpredictable and volatile northern Ethiopia conflict, coupled with restrictions on aid delivery, UN humanitarians said on Thursday.
In the embattled northernmost Tigray region, the humanitarian situation continued to deteriorate due to restrictions on delivering humanitarian supplies into the area via the only available route, Semera-Abala-Mekelle, said the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
"Several UN and non-governmental organizations have reduced or shut down programs due to the depletion or severe shortages of fuel, cash and supplies," the humanitarian office said. The United Nations is alarmed by the intensification of conflict, including the airstrikes this week on Mekelle, the capital of the Tigray region, and reports of growing numbers of people displaced by recent fighting in Amhara.
The United Nations reminds all parties that they are obligated under international humanitarian law to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure.
Fuel is not allowed into Tigray, OCHA said. Fourteen fuel tankers are currently in Semera, awaiting permission to enter Tigray. Semera is in the Afar region to the east of Tigray, and Amhara is to the south of Tigray.
Along with humanitarian supplies, fuel and cash are essential for carrying out relief operations.
From Oct. 13-19, OCHA said 215 trucks of humanitarian supplies arrived in Tigray, a slight increase from a week earlier. Some 1,111 trucks entered Tigray since July 12, just 15 percent of the trucks needed. Some 100 trucks are required daily.
The humanitarians said only about 52,000 people got food aid last week, half of them receiving only one or two food items, the office said. At least 870,000 people on average per week need food assistance.
Humanitarian partners provided food assistance to more than 807,000 people in Amhara since early August and more than 76,000 internally displaced people in Afar over the same period, OCHA said.
Source: Xinhua