Conflict In Ethiopia’s Tigray Region Impacting Country’s Coronavirus Efforts; U.N. Preparing To Access Region With Humanitarian Aid

AP: Ethiopia’s conflict stokes humanitarian and virus crisis
“Ethiopia’s month-long war in its northern Tigray region has severely hampered efforts to fight one of Africa’s worst coronavirus outbreaks, as the fighting has displaced almost 1 million people and strained local humanitarian services to the breaking point. Tens of thousands of those fleeing the conflict between Tigrayan and Ethiopian federal forces have crossed into neighboring Sudan, where countrywide virus numbers are also rising rapidly. More than 45,000 refugees from the Tigray conflict are now living in remote parts of Sudan, where they have taken shelter in crowded camps that have no coronavirus testing or treatment capabilities…” (Abuelgasim/Anna, 12/6).

Devex: Humanitarians worry about limitations in Tigray agreement
“Over the past month, aid groups have not had access to people living in the northern Ethiopian region of Tigray due to clashes between the national military and local forces. This has raised alarm over food, medicine, and fuel shortages, and lack of access to populations impacted by the violence. No supplies have been allowed into the conflict zone and the government cut off communications in the region. Aid groups have not been able to fully account for the safety of their staff. Following humanitarian pleas, an agreement between Ethiopia’s government and the United Nations that will allow humanitarian access to Tigray, including the bordering regions of Amhara and Afar, was announced on Wednesday…” (Jerving, 12/4).

U.N. News: U.N. working at ‘full speed’ to prepare for humanitarian mission to Ethiopia’s Tigray
“The U.N.’s humanitarian coordination office, said on Friday that it was doing its utmost to secure aid access to Ethiopia’s Tigray region, after a deal was struck to reach displaced civilians, following weeks of fighting between federal and regional forces. … At a scheduled press conference in Geneva, the U.N. Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said that it was ‘poised’ to resume full humanitarian activities in the Tigray region ‘as soon as the situation allows’ following the agreement to restore access. … Ahead of assessment missions by the U.N. and its partners, the U.N. agency provisionally estimated that up to two million people from Tigray Region would need assistance, it said in a statement…” (12/4).

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