Ethiopia – UN Warns 90 Percent of People in Tigray Need Food Aid

The UN’s World Food Program has sounded the alarm over the high number of people it says require emergency food assistance in the conflict-hit region of northern Ethiopia after seven months of fighting.

More than 90% of people in Ethiopia’s war-torn region of Tigray need emergency food aid, the United Nations warned on Tuesday.

The UN World Food Program (WFP) sounded the alarm as officials appealed for $203 million (€166 million) to tackle the problem of hunger there.

“A total of 5.2 million people, equivalent to 91% of Tigray’s population, need emergency food assistance due to the conflict,” WFP spokesman Tomson Phiri told reporters in Geneva.

“We are deeply concerned at the number of people we see in need of nutrition support and emergency food assistance,” he added.

What could happen without urgent aid?

Last week, a senior UN official warned the UN Security Council that urgent measures were needed to avoid famine in Tigray.

“There is a serious risk of famine if assistance is not scaled up in the next two months,” wrote Mark Lowcock, the UN’s top emergency relief coordinator, in a briefing note seen by news agency AFP.

He said “over 90% of the harvest was lost due to looting, burning, or other destruction, and that 80% of the livestock in the region were looted or slaughtered.”

The WFP said the instability was undermining the efforts of humanitarian workers to reach vulnerable communities in Tigray, especially in rural areas.