US to Provide $181mln Aid to Humanitarian Response in Tigray

ADDIS ABABA – The providing $181 million that will support the delivery of life-saving assistance to humanitarian response in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, its aid agency announced on Thursday.

The aid will include nearly 100,000 metric tons of food – enough to feed three million people for nearly two months.

In a statement today, the USAID said the “urgently needed humanitarian aid will address life-threatening hunger and acute malnutrition” in the region.

The latest support will take the amount of support the US made for the Tigray response to nearly $487 million, according to the USAID.

The region has been devastated by a conflict involving the federal government and forces of the TPLF, a group the Ethiopian parliament recently designated as a terrorist entity.

The conflict erupted last November after forces of TPLF attacked the federal army base there – prompting the federal government to carry out what it called a rule law enforcement operation in the region.

It has led to the disruption of livelihoods in the region, whose population mainly depends on agriculture. Nearly 90 percent of residents in the region need emergency food aid, according to the UN.

The federal government said it is dealing with the “outstanding issues” in the region using “using their scarce resources”.

To date, officials said the government addressed the needs of 4.5 million people there in the first round of aid delivery while a total of 4.9 million people were reached in the second and third rounds.

They also urged humanitarian partners to support the effort financially and materially.

The USAID, which urges other donors to step up, also said the current conditions in the region “will continue to worsen without vast improvements in humanitarian access”.

The Integrated Phase Classification (IPC), released today, found that 350,000 people were living in “severe crisis” in the region, as well as neighboring Amhara and Afar regions.

“This severe crisis results from the cascading effects of conflict, including population displacements, movement restrictions, limited humanitarian access, loss of harvest and livelihood assets, and dysfunctional or non-existent markets,” the analysis adds.

The IPC’s analysis, which was not endorsed by the government, insisted that humanitarian access is being expanded as it restores order across the region.