N. Ethiopia fighting triggers displacements, limits access, but aid gets through: UN
United Nations: Fighting in northern Ethiopia, routing tens of thousands of people from their homes, challenges humanitarian relief delivery, a UN spokesman said.
“We and our partners continue to provide humanitarian aid in the north, including in Afar, where more than 31,000 people were reached with food,” said Stephane Dujarric, the chief spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, on Thursday.
“More than 8,000 people have received health services since August 24.”
Northernmost Tigray and the neighbouring regions of Afar and Amhara pay the heaviest toll in the country’s north, Xinhua news agency reported.
However, Dujarric added that while the main road into Mekelle is impassable and UN Humanitarian Air Service flights into Tigray’s capital grounded, blocking relief from outside the region, aid workers distributed 17 truckloads of fertilisers this week to support farmers within the region during the planting season.
The disruption failed to block humanitarians from distributing food assistance to more than 39,000 people in Tigray’s Northwestern Zone since last week, he said.
The tens of thousands of people forced by conflict from their homes last week lived in the Yallo and Gulina districts, bordering Tigray, and Chifra district, bordering the Amhara region, he added. The situation is reported calm in Amhara’s Dessie town following the movement of people arriving on Wednesday from elsewhere in the region.
The spokesman said that a 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew in several Amhara towns impacting the movement of people, limits access to emergency health services and commercial activities.
“We continue to call on all parties to the conflict to take constant care to spare civilians and civilian objects, including by allowing civilians to leave for safer areas, in accordance with international humanitarian law,” he said.
“Rapid and unimpeded humanitarian access to all those in need across northern Ethiopia remains critical.”