WHO still waiting on unfettered access to Tigray

AFP , Saturday 3 Dec 2022

The UN's World Health Organization said Friday it still did not have unfettered access to bring humanitarian aid into Ethiopia's war-torn northern Tigray region, one month after the ceasefire.

Negotiators for Ethiopian Government and Tigray sign documents during peace talks in Pretoria, South
Lead negotiator for Ethiopia s government, Redwan Hussein, left, and lead Tigray negotiator Getachew Reda, right, sign documents during the peace talks in Pretoria, South Africa on Nov. 2, 2022. AP


Restoring aid deliveries to Tigray was a key part of an agreement signed on November 2 to end a two-year war that has killed untold numbers of people and unleashed a humanitarian crisis.

"That peace process has not yet resulted in the kinds of full access, unfettered access and the massive scale-up of medical and health assistance that the people of Tigray need," WHO emergencies chief Michael Ryan told a press conference.

"We've been a long time waiting to get access to these desperate people."

The region was isolated from the world for over a year, and faced severe shortages of medicines and limited access to electricity, banking and communications.

"We are seeing some increase in access, in terms of getting some of our staff in. We've had a small allocation of fuel that will allow us to do some operations, and we're starting to see a small trickle," Ryan said, therefore "a tiny percentage of the need that's there, potentially, we can meet."

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