UN: Fighting in Northern Ethiopia displaces hundreds of thousands, curtails aid

Ethiopian National Defense Force soldiers walk along a road on December 6, 2021

Ethiopian National Defense Force soldiers walk along a road on December 6, 2021

UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) — Fighting in northern Ethiopia has displaced hundreds of thousands of people in recent weeks in parts of Tigray, Afar, and Amhara regions, UN humanitarians said on Friday.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said aid workers cannot access large parts of Tigray and several areas in adjacent Amhara and Afar due to fighting. Humanitarian convoys remain suspended through the only available land route into Tigray.

The office said that fighting has blocked UN Humanitarian Air Service flights to and from Tigray for almost a month, halting the transport of commodities and operational cash into the restive region.

“We, along with our partners, continue to respond with available stocks inaccessible areas across the three regions. But it is not enough to meet the increasing needs,” OCHA said.

In Tigray, 1.4 million people were reached with food at the beginning of September, bringing the total to more than 2.1 million out of the 5.4 million people targeted since August, the office said.

In Amhara, humanitarians helped displaced people with food, including more than 30,000 people at Jarra site.

Water trucking and the distribution of non-food items started in some displacement sites, and 86 mobile health and nutrition teams are operating in the region, OCHA said. In Afar, partners reached 196,000 people with food and other services, it said.

“We call on all parties to the conflict to take constant care to spare civilians and civilian objects, and facilitate the resumption of rapid and unimpeded passage of aid workers and supplies into all conflict-affected areas, in accordance with international humanitarian law.”

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