UN’s Food Agency’s Head Visits Tigray Region

ADDIS ABABA – Executive Director of the World Food Program (WFP), David Beasley, said greater attention should be given to nutritional need of people in need of food assistance in Tigray region.

The head of the WFP visited the region together with Minister of Peace, Muferihat Kamil, to assess the humanitarian response on the ground.

The visit was aimed at aiming highlighting the need for a strong partnership to rapidly scale up a Government-led collective response to meet the immediate humanitarian needs of people in the Region, according to government officials.

Beasley commended the emergency food assistance that the Government and partners have already provided to the people of Tigray since the onset of the crisis.

The government has so far reached almost 1.8 million people with emergency food distributions. Over 26,000 Eritrean refugees residing in two camps have also received food and nutrition assistance.

“But we must do more, together, to meet the needs of the population,” said Beasley.
Latest preliminary estimates indicate that 2.5 to 3 million people in the region require emergency food assistance.

“Reports indicate that the nutrition situation requires greater attention, with young children and pregnant and lactating mothers the most vulnerable,” he added.

The recent positive engagements of senior UN officials, including the Under-Secretary-General for Safety and Security, the High Commissioner for Refugees, and the Executive Director of the World Food Program have been welcomed by the government.

“To ensure that humanitarian assistance in Tigray can be expanded and intensified without delay, the Government is moving with urgency to approve requests for international staff movements into and within Tigray,” said Minister Muferihat.

Beasley announced that WFP has accepted a request from the Government to augment the transportation capacity of the Government and partners to deliver humanitarian assistance into and within Tigray.

The WFP has also agreed to provide emergency food relief assistance to up to 1 million people in Tigray and launch a blanket supplementary feeding intervention to assist up to 875,000 nutritionally vulnerable children and pregnant and lactating mothers.

These agreed WFP contributions will require USD 107 million to be implemented over the coming six months in areas and communities jointly identified and prioritized with the Government based on joint assessment where feasible.