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Monday, December 04 2023

Fighting in Ethiopia’s Afar region suspends aid to Tigray: UN

Fighting in Ethiopias northern Afar region
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Addis Ababa: Fighting in Ethiopia’s northern Afar region has prevented aid delivery by road to neighbouring Tigray, triggered large-scale displacement and increased the need for more relief, the UN humanitarians said.

“Humanitarian operations are significantly reduced or suspended, due to a lack of fuel, cash and aid supplies,” the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said.

An international aid agency delivered more than 14 metric tonnes of medicines into Tigray by air, the office said, adding: “This life-saving assistance via air is welcome but is far from what is required,” reports Xinhua news agency

The humanitarians said more than 5 million people require food and other assistance.

Despite the conflict, humanitarians completed the second phase of a measles vaccination campaign in Tigray, reaching 595,000 children in 69 locations, OCHA said.

Due to fuel shortages, health workers reported walking up to 35 km to provide vaccination services in some areas.

Also, limited food distribution continues in Tigray, the office said.

Since mid-October, only 880,000 people received food aid. It’s the same number of people humanitarians should reach every week.

In the Afar region, fighting has displaced hundreds of thousands of people and caused urgent food, non-food, and health care needs, OCHA said. But insecurity limits access.

“In accessible areas, nearly 85,000 people received food assistance in the past week, bringing the number of people reached with food assistance since mid-October to over 500,000,” the office said.

In the Amhara region, south of Tigray and east of Afar, more than 1 million people received food assistance in the past week, OCHA said.

“Across the three regions, malnutrition rates among children and pregnant and breastfeeding women are reportedly alarmingly high,” the office said.

“While the capacity for nutrition screening in Tigray remains highly limited, in the past week over a third of all children screened were found to be malnourished.”

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