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Ethiopia says humanitarian response in Tigray ongoing albeit budget support suspension from the EU


Addis Ababa, January 19, 2021 - Humanitarian response in Tigray Region is underway said Ethiopia's Ministry of Peace on its press release.

The statement comes after the European Union (EU) suspended budget support for Ethiopia worth 107 million USD saying until after "humanitarian agencies are granted access to people in need of aid" in Tigray region.

"I also stressed that, under the current circumstances, in particular in the absence of full humanitarian access to all areas of the conflict, we have no alternative but to postpone the planned disbursement of €88 million in budget support", said Josep Borrell, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy / Vice-President of the European Commission.

But the statement from the Ministry of Peace (MoP) said that Ethiopian government is already handling the humanitarian crisis from the start and that it is continuing to expand the support by including diverse stakeholders from humanitarian agencies. 
"Since the law enforcement operation in the Northern part of Ethiopia completed, humanitarian assistance containing food & non-food items and medical supplies have been delivered for more than 1.8 million beneficiaries", read the statement from the MoP.
It said the mission led by the Emergency Coordination Center (ECC) Ministerial Committee, an Emergency Operation Center (EOC) comprising of technical teams from Ministries, Regional Bureaus, UN Agencies and International NGOs aims to address 2.5 million beneficiaries across the region. The technical team, according to the Ministry of Peace, is established in Mekelle City to address immediate needs.
The Ethiopian National Defence Force (ENDF) is also said to be supporting the coordination of the humanitarian assistance by facilitating secured movement of people and supplies.
Distribution is facilitated by the National Disaster Risk Management Commission (NDRMC), Consortium of International and local NGOs under the coordination of UNOCHA and the Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP).
Distributions will launch from Axum, Adigrat, Alamata, area surrounding Mekelle, Shire and from the  capital Mekelle City itself.
Women, children, elderly and disabled persons are prioritized in the distribution of food, non-food items, and medical supplies.
According to the statement released by the Ethiopian Ministry of Peace, the Ethiopian government and humanitarian partners are working closely in accordance with the memorandum of understanding signed on 29 November, 2020. A joint needs assessment is yet to be conducted to identify the precise number of beneficiaries.
The statement concluded saying "The government of Ethiopia is committed to address all needs arising in the region".


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