Although the government repeatedly urged the return of a large number of trucks carrying aid to the Tigray region in accordance with the established procedures, lack of concrete response has raised serious concerns and doubts, it noted.
“ In fact, no one has been able to guarantee that they are not used for unintended purposes. We would like to urge the international humanitarian partners to take the necessary caution to ensure that aid distribution to the people in need is properly addressed,” statement of the ministry added.
Repeated attacks and continued intrusion into the Afar and Amhara regions as well as blockage of humanitarian corridors by the terrorist TPLF has worsened the situation and highly impeded the movement of humanitarian aid to the region, the ministry said.
In a press statement it sent to ENA, the ministry stated that food and non-food items to be distributed to 4.9 million people in Tigray region in three rounds were readied before the unilateral humanitarian ceasefire decision by the government.
“When decision was made to effect the unilateral humanitarian ceasefire, food, medicines, fuel and other critical items that can support the region for about two months were stored in the region.”
Besides, more than 500,000 quintals of improved seeds and fertilizers were stored to support farmers not to miss the farming season.
Moreover, following the unilateral humanitarian ceasefire, the Government of Ethiopia continued to coordinate and send in food and non-food items, including fuel, through six humanitarian partners operating in the region, according to the statement.
The humanitarian operation in the affected areas has been coordinated by the leadership of the National Emergency Coordination Center Ministerial Committee, the ministry noted, adding that there have been developments since last week to better coordinate and facilitate the movement of humanitarian aid to the region.
Accordingly, about 500 trucks loaded with food and non-food items as well as improved seeds and fertilizers have entered the region. Of these, 152 were dispatched in the past two days.
The ministry further revealed that the number of checkpoints between departure point and destination is reduced to two from seven to simplify humanitarian cargo movement.
However, about 4.5 million people and more than 500,000 people are displaced following the repeated attacks on the TPLF terrorist group on civilians in Afar and Amhara regions.
The ministry pointed out that “assessments indicate that humanitarian support through non-governmental humanitarian actors is minimal. (Therefore) humanitarian partners are encouraged to assess the situation on the ground and further coordinate efforts to maximize the reach and accommodate the increasing need.”