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More than 90 percent of Tigray war veterans need food aid | Food Issues

An estimated 5.2 million people in war-torn areas in Ethiopia, Tigray, or 91% of the population, are in need of emergency assistance, the United Nations has warned.

The UN World Food Program (WFP) warning came after asking for more than $ 200m to respond to a northern region that has nearly seven months of war add hunger already.

“WFP is concerned about the recent famine,” Tomson Phiri’s spokesman told reporters in Geneva. “We are deeply concerned about the number of people we see needing food aid and emergency food assistance.”

The agency said it had provided emergency assistance to more than a million people since it began distributing the northwest and southern Tigray areas in March.

“WFP is calling for $ 203m to continue to increase their response to Tigray to save lives and lives by the end of the year.”

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, winner of the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize, has ordered ground forces and aircraft in Tigray in early November 2020 to criticize the northern Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) for plotting terrorist attacks.

The TPLF, which ruled politically for decades until Abiy came to power in 2018, said the military and its former enemy Eritrea had launched a “rebellion”.

Abiy, whose troops are backed by Eritrean troops and fighters from the Amhara region of Ethiopia, announced their victory in late November when the troops entered the provincial capital, Mekelle. The fight against violence, however, has continued, leading to fears that the conflict will be prolonged and destructive to civilians.

The conflict is said to have killed thousands, perhaps not more than two million, and nearly two million people have been forced to flee their homes.

In May, World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, from Tigray, described the region’s “catastrophic” events, as well as “many deaths” as a result of starvation.

The dangers of starvation

Last week, a senior UN official encouraged The UN Security Council and the international community need to take urgent action to end the famine in Tigray.

“There is a high risk of famine if aid is not forthcoming in the next two months,” wrote Mark Lowcock, a senior UN disaster relief official.

He estimated that “90% of the crop was lost as a result of confiscation, burning, or other damage, and that 80 percent of the livestock in the area were confiscated or killed”.

WFP says the instability is undermining the efforts of humanitarian workers to reach vulnerable people in Tigray, especially in rural areas.

“Gun control and unlimited access are essential for WFP and all its partners in Tigray to reach all areas and all people in need of life-saving assistance,” Phiri said.

In addition, she cautioned that the council sees a shortage of malnutrition among women and children.

It found that about half of pregnant women or nursing mothers in 53 villages had little or no malnutrition, while nearly a quarter of all children counted were malnourished.

Mohammed Adow of Al Jazeera, speaking from the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, said the support staff was struggling to provide much-needed support as parts of Tigray and various athletes were not available.

“There are many parties playing in the Ethiopian army, such as the Armed Forces, the Eritrean army and the TPLF,” he said.

“Almost every party in the war has been accused of failing to reach out to those in need,” he added.

“So far many cases have been filed against the Eritrean military, which, in turn, has claimed to have killed more people, as well as atrocities such as rape and sexual violence.”

Adow also said the start of the conflict in Tigray “coincided with last year’s harvest season, [with] many people fail to harvest their crops because of the great controversy.

“And in the meantime, aid workers say an increasing number of locusts are threatening the crop.”

Eritrean troops have been affected by genocide and other atrocities during the Tigray war, which Asmara denies.

An Ethiopian worker has died after being hit by a bullet in the area, an Italian employer said on Monday, the ninth death in a dispute there.

The Ethiopian government in Addis Ababa has committed itself to investigating human rights abuses and has provided “unrestricted access” to humanitarian workers.

In a series of Twitter letters last week, the foreign ministry criticized TPLF in some way for failing to provide support.

The group’s “leftovers” have killed humanitarian workers, truck drivers and confiscated food and non-food items that are about to be distributed to people in need, “the ministry said.

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