Whenever war hits any area, vulnerable suffer the most; the same is happening in Ethiopia, which is in the middle of a civil war. In the past month, human rights organisations from around the world asked the Ethiopian government; for letting humanitarian aid reach the vulnerable and displaced people stuck in Tigray. But the recent report published by the United Nations Children’s Fund shows that millions of children are still in dire need of help in the war-torn area of Ethiopia.
The civil war between the federal government and The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) lashed out at the beginning of November. With the sudden bombing and military clashes, hundreds of thousands of people moved to other safer parts of the country.
By now, more than 50,000 Ethiopian war-torn refugees have moved to Sudan, the neighbouring country. In the confrontation region, the entire area was under complete communication and internet black-out; leaving the people stuck in the dark.
Bland information about the ongoing humanitarian crisis and war crimes; forced international organisations like The UN, Amnesty International etc. to urge the Ethiopian government for letting humanitarian aid reach the vulnerable.
The worsening condition of the war-ravaged area
Finally, an agreement with the federal government on 2 December; allowed the aid workers to reach the vulnerable in government controlled areas.
As the health and aid workers reached out for help, the horrific condition of the war-ravaged area came into light. Hundreds of civilians were dying almost every day, Ethiopian military claims not to kill a single civilian. Accusations were also drifted towards the Eritrean government of getting involved in the war, of which they deny.
According to the civilians; Amhara special force and various militant groups were also attacking the stuck people in the area. The humanitarian crisis is being dealt with in the government-controlled region of Tigray.
The war by now have killed thousands of people; The sufferings have worsened, need for aid is increasing every day with more casualties. More than 0.6 million people were completely dependent on helping the organisation for essentials like food and healthcare before the start of the conflict; now the numbers have exponentially surged.
The UNICEF and other aid providing organisations; aimed to cumulatively provide first aid to about 6 million people stuck in the conflicted zone. According to the UN near to 2 million people are in dire need of humanitarian aid.
Children: in vital need of humanitarian aid
On Tuesday, UNICEF publicizes that children are falling prey in the war between the Ethiopian government and TPLF. Despite the agreement of providing aid; about 2.3 million children are out of reach of the aid agencies working in the area.
Henrietta Fore, UNICEF’s executive director said, “We are extremely concerned that the longer access to them is delayed, the worse their situation will become as supplies of food, including ready-to-use therapeutic food for the treatment of child malnutrition, medicines, water, fuel and other essentials run low”.
“Protecting these children, many of whom are refugees and internally displaced, and providing them with humanitarian aid must be a priority,” she added.
Furthermore, UNICEF is concerned that the delay in receiving urgent aid and critical needs of children cannot be delayed anymore.
Ethiopia: more challenges amid the way
Noble Peace Prize winner Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed visited Mekelle, capital of the Tigray region on Sunday. Communication and electricity in the conflicted areas are being restored. “Our humanitarian assistance efforts will also continue strengthened to attend to the vulnerable. We will restore, rebuild and develop” said the Prime Minister in a tweet on 5 December.
This Year’s Nobel Peace Prize and the biggest food assistance provider, World Food Organisation; was already struggling in imparting food aid to the coronavirus pandemic hit people and to the tsunami of refugees in Sudan. The funds are running out therefore the organisation has appealed the international community for donations.
Along with providing aid, prevention of the spread of COVID19 in the refugee camps flooding with people is also a main task of UNHCR. Patrick Youssef, regional director of International Committee of the Red Cross said “The situation overall is very fluid and very concerning. Over a month since the start of the crisis… we’ve witnessed shortness of food, access to bathing services, but also Mekelle, for example, has been struggling with water supplies. So basic, basic services”.
UNICEF on the other hand is asking the federal government to allow the people stuck in the war area to move to safer places. “We also urge authorities to allow the free movement of civilians wishing to seek safety elsewhere. This includes those requesting to cross the border to seek international protection”; UNICEF said in a statement.