First aid finally reaches Ethiopia’s Tigray region since cease-fire
A convoy carrying medical supplies arrived Tuesday (15 November) in the capital of Ethiopia’s Tigray region, the first shipment of international aid to reach the region following a cease-fire and a peace deal agreed by the country’s federal government and Tigrayan forces earlier this month.
“The first ICRC medical supplies have just arrived in Mekele (…) by road,” Jude Fuhnwi, spokesman for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Ethiopia, adding that they have delivered 40 tons of “essential items, emergency medicines and surgical equipment.” Restrictions on humanitarian access since the conflict erupted in November 2020 have resulted in a dire humanitarian crisis across the region, with millions in urgent need of food and medicine. After a five-month truce, the resumption of hostilities in late August between both sides interrupted most of the delivery of humanitarian aid — already largely insufficient — to Tigray.
The terms of the cease-fire deal — struck in South Africa earlier this month — commit Ethiopia’s federal government to facilitating unhindered humanitarian access to Tigray and restoring its phone, internet and banking services. “The ICRC hopes to continue these deliveries on a regular basis and significantly increase the humanitarian response in Tigray,” whose six million inhabitants have been largely deprived of food and medicine for more than a year. Military leaders from both sides also initiated a document on Saturday (16 November) to implement the provisions of the agreement, including the disarmament of rebels and the delivery of humanitarian aid to Tigray.