Minister of Peace Muferiat Kamil briefed the media today on the current humanitarian aid coordination activities in Tigray, Afar and Amhara regions.
Following the unilateral humanitarian ceasefire, the government of Ethiopia continued to coordinate and deliver food and non-food items including fuel through six humanitarian partners who are operating in Tigray region, she noted.
According to the Minister, some 528 trucks have arrived in the region since the declaration of the unilateral humanitarian ceasefire.
The trucks have arrived in Tigray with more than 14,000 metric tons of food and 4,000 metric tons of non-food items as well as various medicines.
Furthermore, she stated that the number of checkpoints between departure point and destination is reduced to enable efficient transit of humanitarian assistance which shows the commitment of the federal government in facilitating humanitarian access.
The humanitarian operation being carried out in the affected areas is coordinated by the Ministerial Committee of the National Emergency Coordination Center, it was indicated.
However, she stated that the terrorist TPLF’s repeated attack and continued intrusion into the Afar and Amhara regions as well as the blockage of humanitarian corridors have worsened the situation by impeding the government’s humanitarian aid activities to Tigray region.
“We are working closely with the Afar region. It is the terrorist TPLF who is choking the checkpoints and humanitarian corridor, because, it is [TPLF] frequently attacking people in Amhara and Afar regions.”
She stressed that the terrorist TPLF has no moral to blame the federal government for blockage of humanitarian assistance as it is the one that has been engaged in a continued provocative acts disrupting the smooth flow of humanitarian trucks in to the region.
She said “We know very well the very nature of TPLF. The group is known for its tactics of using starvation as weapon of war. That is the inherent nature of TPLF.”
She indicated that a large number of trucks that had entered in Tigray carrying aid have not returned in accordance with the established procedures.
According to Minister of Peace, the government is allowing the humanitarian organizations to channel cash in to Tigray to be used for their operation.
So far, 28 UN agencies and international NGOs are granted approval to transport cash to the region.
“We have given for 30 humanitarian organizations to transport cash in to the region. Each organization carry up to two million Birr. There are two flights to Tigray region per week,” she said.
Speaking on the humanitarian situation in Afar and Amhara Muferiat said due to the repeated attacks by the terrorist TPLF on civilians on the two regions, about 4.5 million people are affected, while more than 500,000 people displaced.
The humanitarian support being carried out through non-governmental humanitarian actors is minimal in these two regions, she said, adding that to accommodate the increasing need, humanitarian partners are encouraged to assess the situation on the ground and further coordinate efforts to maximize the reach.
She urged the international humanitarian partners to take the necessary caution to ensure that aid distribution to the people in need are properly addressed.