At a briefing, members of the United Nations (UN) Security Council and other Member States were warned that urgent measures are necessary to avoid famine in Ethiopia’s embattled region of Tigray.
The humanitarian crisis is as a result of an ongoing armed conflict that began early November last year between the Special Forces of the Tigray Regional government and the Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF).
Mark Lowcock, UN Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator in his two-and-a-half page note said, at least 20% of the populations in the area face emergency food insecurity. “Destruction and violence against civilians continue even now across Tigray,” he added.
“In the six and a half months since the start of the conflict in Tigray in early November 2020, an estimated two million people have been displaced. Civilians are being killed and injured,” Lowcock said.
“Concrete measures are urgently needed to break the vicious cycle between armed conflict, violence and food insecurity.
“Over 90 percent of the harvest was lost due to looting, burning, or other destruction, and that 80 percent of the livestock in the region were looted or slaughtered,” the UN official estimated.
He added that “Humanitarian operations are being attacked, obstructed or delayed in delivering life-saving assistance. Eight aid workers have been killed in Tigray in the last six months” Lowcock wrote.
The conflict was said to have left some five million in need of aid.