WFP sends Humanitarian Passenger Flight into Tigray

ADDIS ABABA – The UN World Food Program has sent a humanitarian passenger flight into Mekelle today as part of efforts to scale up the aid response in the region.

It is for the second time a WFP plane went to the region via Addis Ababa Bole International Airport with the first one delivering food aids to the region last week.

The WFP plane left Addis Ababa to Mekelle on Thursday morning with more than thirty individuals and humanitarian personnel on board,” the ministry of foreign affairs confirmed.

The flight has taken “colleagues who are all essential in our collective efforts to scale up the humanitarian response and for the WFP to reach 2.1 million people with life-saving food assistance,” said Michael Dunford, WFP’s Regional Director for Eastern Africa.

From today, the UNHAS flights will operate twice a week, facilitating the regular movement of humanitarian personnel into and out of Tigray.

However, the UN food agency said humanitarian response in the region continues to be challenged by a lack of sufficient food and other humanitarian supplies.

Unlike the flights, the Federal government said effort to transport aids into the region via trucks has become difficult due to security problems.

In the past three days, the government said the TPLF operatives committed terrorist attacks, “blocking the road on 189 trucks carrying food and non-food aid to Tigray via Afar where the vehicles are forced to stop”.

The attacks took place in Ferentisu Yalo Woreda, zone four of the Afar Region, according to the government.

According to the WFP, with conflict escalating in surrounding regions, including Afar, the safe and secure passage for convoys to move humanitarian supplies into Tigray remains a primary concern for WFP and the humanitarian community, particularly after a WFP convoy was attacked on the morning of July 18 while attempting to move essential humanitarian cargo into Tigray.