United Nations, Jan 21 (IANS) The UN and its nongovernmental organisation partners are having to reduce, postpone or cancel critical distributions of assistance, including food, medicine, and nutrition interventions in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, said the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
This is because the transport of humanitarian supplies into Tigray, via the Semera-Abala-Mekelle corridor, has remained suspended since December 14, 2021 due to ongoing fighting in Abala in Afar region, Xinhua news agency reported citing the OCHA as saying.
No fuel for humanitarian operations has been allowed into Tigray along this route since August 2, 2021, and organisations are also unable to secure sufficient fuel locally, it said.
Between January 6 and 12, about 10,500 people received food assistance in Tigray under the current food distribution cycle while over 800,000 people should be assisted each week.
This is the lowest level of food assistance since operations expanded in March 2021 and UN partners have also reported that remaining food stocks can only assist 28,000 people, said the OCHA.
A measles vaccination campaign launched in the first week of January continues to reach more than 145,000 children to date, out of nearly 800,000 in need. However, health partners report that the campaign is facing serious challenges, including a lack of fuel and cash, limited cold chain capacity, and shortages of health care workers, it said.
The humanitarian response is being scaled up in accessible areas in Amhara and Afar, two neighbouring regions that have been affected by the military conflict in Tigray, said the Office.
In Amhara, more than 578,000 people received food assistance in the past week, and more than 40,000 received shelter and non-food items.
Internally displaced persons continue to return to their places of origin in Amhara, with hundreds of thousands of people estimated to have returned. Assessments of returns and the humanitarian situation in areas of return are ongoing.
In Afar, more than 47,000 people received food assistance in the past week and 30 mobile health and nutrition teams continue to provide essential nutrition services in remote and conflict-affected communities, said OCHA.