An agreement has been reached between the Ethiopian government and the World Food Program (WFP) to increase humanitarian access to the Tigray region in the north of the country, WFP director David Beasley announced on Twitter on Saturday evening.
The announcement comes as the UN Security Council said Wednesday at a closed-door meeting that it hoped for more humanitarian access to the region, where the federal government has been carrying out a military operation against dissident authorities since November.
The Ethiopian government and WFP, a UN agency, “have agreed on concrete steps to expand humanitarian access across Tigray and WFP will increase its operations,” Beasley said on Twitter after a visit to Tigray. the regional capital, Mekele, estimating that “three million people need help now”.
WFP said in a statement that it had agreed, at the request of the Ethiopian authorities, to provide emergency food aid to one million people in Tigray.
Ethiopian Peace Minister Muferihat Kamil, for his part, said in a statement that the government was “in the process of urgently approving requests for the movement of international personnel to and within Tigray”.
For three months, the UN and NGOs have deplored the restrictions on humanitarian access to Tigray, where fighting is still reported in places, despite the announcement by the Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of the end of hostilities with the capture by the Federal Army in Mekele on November 28.
The government has downplayed the risk of famine and says it has provided emergency food assistance to 1.8 million people.
Tigray remains very difficult to access the media, making it difficult to verify information on the situation in the region.
Following a visit last week, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi called for an improvement in the aid distribution system, on pain of a deterioration of an already “situation” very serious ”in Tigray.