ADDIS ABEBA – The Federal Government has so far spent 1.87 billion birr in humanitarian assistance to the Tigray region, the Prime Minister office said on Wednesday.
After receiving “insignificant support” from donor communities, the federal has been forced to cover over 70% of aid demands in the region.
In a statement, the office said the government has to reallocate spending from other priorities within its budget to come up the 1.87bln br.
The federal government has therefore managed to reach 3.8mil beneficiaries with food aid, it said.
“Non-food items estimated at more than Birr 80 million have also been distributed in the region by the Federal government,” the statement reads.
The current humanitarian assistance has increased to 780,534.6 quintals of food items distributed to 3.8mil beneficiaries in the Tigray region.
Ethiopia has provided unfettered access for humanitarian agencies last week. The modality of operation was a subject of consultation between the government and UN and other international agencies.
Following the discussion, officials said further amendments have been made based on consensus on the modality of operations.
Accordingly, humanitarian agencies can operate in the region with unfettered access unhindered mobility, by simply providing a notification of operations to the Ministry of Peace, and at their own risk in region wide movement.
But, the agreed upon modality also says “all entities are expected to abide by the laws of the land and any entity or individual abetting criminality under the guise of provision of aid, will be held accountable”.
The international agencies are expected to exploit the opportunity to meet the humanitarian needs of affected people in the region, said state minister of foreign affairs Redwan Hussein while speaking with the new United States Envoy to Ethiopia Geeta Pasi, on Monday.
“Criticisms forwarded against the Ethiopian government’s handling of the humanitarian support in Tigray without sharing the burden or contributing a significant amount of support is neither helpful to the government of Ethiopia nor to the people who require help, he added.
Apart from providing food aid, the government has been busy repairing damages to water lines, health and education facilities, according to the PM office.
It has allocated around 31 million birr to make sure the requisite spare parts are available for maintenance of water lines, as well as provision of water trucks to areas where service is disrupted.
Similarly, extensive work is ongoing in the health sector, which helped to reopen 20 hospitals and 71 health facilities and become operational again.
“Medical supplies worth close to Birr 199 million have been made available in addition to other materials like emergency vehicles and computers,” the PM office’s update shows.
In the education sector, preparations have been finalized to resume normal school activities with repairing and procuring teaching materials costing the government more than 96 million Birr.
Featured Photo. Partial view of Mekelle city. The regional police force is now operational in six zones of the region,” it says, adding correctional facilities in Mekelle and Adigrat have become operational again to deal with criminal offenders. [Photo File]