WHO urges 'immediate' food, medical aid for Tigray

AFP , Wednesday 9 Nov 2022

The WHO called Wednesday for a massive influx of food and medicines into Ethiopia's northern Tigray region following the ceasefire deal, saying no aid had yet been allowed in.

 Displaced Tigrayans
File Photo: Displaced Tigrayans queue to receive food donated by local residents at a reception center for the internally displaced in Mekele, in the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia. AP


The World Health Organization said people in Tigray needed urgent assistance after two years of bloody conflict, with access to the region severely restricted.

The conflict between Ethiopian government forces and Tigrayan rebels has plunged Ethiopia's northernmost region into a severe humanitarian crisis.

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus welcomed the breakthrough ceasefire agreement reached last Wednesday but said it was already a week on "and nothing is moving in terms terms of food aid or medicines.

"You can imagine that many people are dying from treatable diseases. Many people are dying from starvation," he told a press conference.

"Even in the middle of fighting, civilians need food, need medicine. It cannot be a condition.

"Especially after the ceasefire agreement, I was expecting that food and medicine would just flow immediately. That's not happening," he said.

"Let's give a chance to peace. But we would also urge the immediate delivery of food and medicine."

Tedros is himself from Tigray and was Ethiopia's health and foreign minister.

He called for the reopening of basic services such as banking and telecoms, and called for journalists to be allowed into the region, "because everything that has happened in the last two years has been done in total darkness and six million people have been completely separated, shut off from the rest of the world as if they don't exist."

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