EU to allocate €53M for vulnerable people in Ethiopia
The EU on Monday said it would allocate €53.7 million ($64.6 million) in humanitarian aid for the most vulnerable people in Ethiopia, including those affected by the conflict in the northern Tigray region, according to a statement.
EU Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarcic, who is expected in Ethiopia on Tuesday, said the conflict in the Tigray region has exacerbated an already difficult situation in the Horn of Africa country.
On Nov. 4 last year, Ethiopia launched a sweeping law enforcement operation against the forces of the previously all-powerful Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), now outlawed, after the latter stormed an Ethiopian federal army command stationed in Tigray, killing soldiers and looting sizable military hardware.
On Nov. 28, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed declared the military engagement over after the fall of the regional capital Mekele to the federal army. But, sporadic fighting continued in the region as hundreds of thousands of people were internally displaced and more than 60,000 fled to neighboring Sudan.
"Humanitarian needs -- even basic survival needs like food security, health, and shelter -- are growing. What is more, violence is increasing in several parts of the country,
"On top of that, five months into the conflict, the situation in Tigray remains severe despite slight improvements, keeping millions of people in need of assistance, especially in rural and hard-to-reach areas," he said.
Lenarcic will meet Ethiopian Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen when he arrives in Ethiopia, according to the statement.
He said the key priority remains to ensure humanitarian access to all those in need in the Tigray region.
The government of Ethiopia is working to reach six Woredas (districts) that have not received any food assistance, targeting approximately 300,000 people, according to the UN.
Since the violence began in early November 2020, refugees have been arriving at remote border points that take hours to reach from the nearest towns in Sudan. Many among the refugees are women and children.