The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) warned this Friday that the Tigray region in northern Ethiopia is on the brink of a “humanitarian catastrophe” due to a lack of food in the region due to the war conflict.
“Now we must decide who goes hungry to prevent others from starving,” said WPF East Africa Regional Director Michael Dunford.
For Dunford, “immediate guarantees from all parties” are necessary so that safe humanitarian corridors can be established.
In his opinion, “humanitarian aid is not flowing at the required pace and volume” and “the lack of food and fuel means we have only been able to achieve 20 percent of what we should have achieved during the last distribution in Tigray,” underlined and added that they are “on the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe”.
According to the WFP, around 9.4 million people in the region are in need of humanitarian assistance. However, due to the armed conflict, food distribution is at an all-time low.
The conflict erupted in November 2020 following a TPLF attack on the army’s main base in Mekelle, prompting Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to order an offensive against the group after months of political and administrative tensions.
Abiy himself moved to the war front in late November to direct military operations and recently returned to the capital after the army’s latest incursions, while the TPLF has so far declined to engage in dialogue with Abiy unless his terms have been open to the Prime Minister’s resignation announced.
The TPLF has accused Abiy of stoking tensions since taking office in April 2018, when he became the first Oromo to take office. Until then, the TPLF had been the dominant force within the ethnically based coalition that had governed Ethiopia since 1991, the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF). The group opposed Abiy’s reforms, which they saw as an attempt to undermine their influence.