ADDIS ABABA – The United Nations health agency said it has dispatched 10 metric tonnes of medicines and medical supplies to Tigray region of Ethiopia.
The shipment arrived in Mekelle, capital city of the region, on Friday afternoon aboard two UN Humanitarian Air Service flights, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
The items are the first batch of the 33.5 metric tonnes of medicines, medical supplies, and equipment.
“Subsequent shipments will be airlifted over the next few days,” the UN agency added.
Aid agencies are stepping up delivery of medical supplies to Mekelle in past weeks via air transport.
Last week, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) flew its tenth cargo plane carrying vital medical supplies into the region.
The increase in the number of flights came after the federal government decided last month to facilitate more flights to Mekelle to augment road transportation of essential supplies to the northern region.
However, the ongoing fighting in Afar which has caused a large-scale displacement in the region, also blocked the delivery of humanitarian supplies into Tigray, reported UN OCHA Wednesday.
Authorities say the TPLf has continued its aggression against Afar region, causing humanitarian disaster as well as blocking aid delivery.
“Rather than reciprocating the government’s peace efforts, the TPLF chose to attack the Afar region afresh, killing and displacing many people and destroying infrastructure,” Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen told European Union Special Representative for the Horn of Africa, on Wednesday.
“The International Community should hold the TPLF accountable for its wrongs in Afar that further hindered the delivery of humanitarian aid to the Tigray region,” Demeke added.