Lack of Aid in Rebel-held Areas in Amhara
Residents in rebel-controlled areas in Ethiopia’s Amhara region have not been receiving aid from international agencies, a spokesman for the regional government’s disaster relief agency has said.
“Innocent people are dying due to lack of food and medicine in these areas.” Iyasu Mesfin said.
“We call on international aid agencies to move beyond discriminatory practices and deliver food and medicine to the people who are in need,” he added.
However, the UN’s World Food Programme said it had embarked on a major drive to deliver food aid to more than 450,000 people in the towns of Kombolcha and Dessie, despite the looting of its warehouses there, AFP news agency reports.
Both towns are in Amhara. TPLF rebels from the neighbouring region of Tigray recently took control of them after heavy fighting. They are on the road to the capital, Addis Ababa.
A few weeks ago local officials in Amhara said that at least 11 people had died of starvation in the region’s Wag Himra administration zone.
Mr Iyasu said that five million people were in need of help in TPLF-held areas.
A UN agency, Ocha, said last week that $40m, £2.9m, had been allocated to provide assistance to those in need in northern Ethiopia.