9 million Ethiopians need food aid amid war | DW | 11.26.2021

The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) reported this Friday (11/26/2021) that more than nine million people currently need food aid in the northern part of Ethiopia, involved for more than a year in an armed conflict that does not seems to have a solution in the short term.

The WFP detailed that 9.4 million people are facing famine “because of the conflict” between the government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), a figure that in September was 7 million. The entity assured that the humanitarian situation has worsened greatly in Tigray, as well as in the regions of Amhara (the current front line) and Afar, where the fighting has spread.

“More than 80 percent (7.8 million) of the people who need help in northern Ethiopia are far from the front line.” Malnutrition is also increasing in these three regions and affects (according to WFP data ) to between 16 and 28 per cent of children In Amhara and Tigray, 50 per cent of pregnant and lactating women are undernourished.

Fast war that does not end

Tomson Phiri, a WFP spokesman, said in Geneva that the United Nations has reached out to some 3.2 million people in need with aid. Flights by UN agencies with humanitarian aid to Tigray resumed in the middle of this week, after more than a month without access to that region, the spokesman added. Thanks to this, food was delivered to Dessie and Kombolcha for the first time since these cities fell to the TPLF rebels.

This conflict broke out last November, after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (2019 Nobel Peace Prize winner) deployed troops to Tigray in response (according to Ahmed) to TPLF attacks on army camps. The prime minister said then that it would be a swift action and within weeks he had already declared the victory of the federal forces.

However, the rebels in June regained control of the Tigray and extended the fighting to the neighboring regions of Amhara and Afar. This week, the TPLF declared that it controlled a town 200 kilometers from the capital, Addis Ababa. The government on Thursday imposed a decree with new restrictions on the dissemination of information about the course of the war.


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9 million Ethiopians need food aid amid war | DW | 11.26.2021