The United Nations’ food agency has said it has agreed to a deal with Ethiopia to expand access for aid workers and “scale up” operations in the war-hit Tigray region.
UN officials have repeatedly complained about the lack of humanitarian access to the northern region as fears grow of a humanitarian disaster- especially starvation
The government and the WFP “have agreed on concrete steps to expand access for humanitarians across Tigray, and WFP will scale up its operations”, WFP chief David Beasley said on Twitter.
Important breakthroughs in #Ethiopia today! @WFP and the Government of Ethiopia have agreed on concrete steps to expand access for humanitarians across #Tigray, and WFP will scale up its operations. Nearly 3 million people need our help NOW and we have no time to waste. pic.twitter.com/u3y919K3bKLoading...
— David Beasley (@WFPChief) February 6, 2021
The conflict erupted on November 4 after Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed ordered a military offensive against Tigray’s former governing party before declaring victory almost a month after.
Thousands of civilians are believed to have died and millions have fled their homes.
Beasley said on Twitter that 20,000 tons of food would be transported to 1.3 million people.
#Ethiopia: The food in this warehouse is part of 20,000 tons that @WFP is transporting to support 1.3M people. It's now being prepped for distribution across #Tigray. We hope this is the start to addressing ALL humanitarian needs. Not a single person deserves to go to bed hungry. pic.twitter.com/IuwPCUNjYY
— David Beasley (@WFPChief) February 7, 2021
The region has been largely cut off to NGOS and the media and In December a UN team visiting refugees in Tigray were shout at by government forces.