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USG briefs Security Council on Ethiopia

04 Mar 2021


A mother sits with her son and daughter in a temporary shelter in Um Rakuba refugee camp in Sudan, having fled conflict in the Tigray region of Ethiopia. © WFP/Arete/Ed Ram

The Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mark Lowcock, today briefed the Security Council on Tigray, Ethiopia.

Mr. Lowcock’s briefing focused on the current humanitarian situation in Tigray; access to the region; and action needed to scale up humanitarian deliveries.

At least 4.5 million people in Tigray need assistance, according to official estimates. Many people in rural areas remain inaccessible.

Food security is a major concern.

Access to water, hygiene and sanitation services are largely disrupted across Tigray, increasing the risk of disease outbreaks, including water-borne diseases, measles and COVID-19. Health services are also disrupted, and only 22 per cent of the 205 health facilities in Tigray are fully functional.

Mr. Lowcock said that despite the recent progress, much more needs to be done to get aid to people who need it throughout Tigray.

He emphasized the need to dramatically scale up humanitarian assistance throughout Tigray by facilitating independent need assessments; deploying humanitarian staff throughout Tigray; restoring of basic communications and banking services. He also called for increased urgent funding for humanitarian operations.