The United Nations has released $36.6 million for civilians affected by the conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray region since early November.

More than 50,000 people, almost half of them children, have fled across the border into Sudan due to the conflict, which has reportedly left hundreds dead, thousands displaced, and millions in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.

Violence involving federal and local forces erupted in Tigray following the reported takeover of an army base in the Tigrayan capital, Mekelle.

The country’s Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, had on 04 November ordered the Ethiopian Defence Forces (EDF) to attack the Tigray Regional Paramilitary Police and militia loyal to the TPLF.

Since the start of the conflict, there have been armed confrontations between federal forces on one side and the Tigray regional forces on the other side.

‘Conflicts like this are hard to stop once they get out of control, the lives they extinguish cannot be brought back, and the grievances they create are long lasting’, UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mark Lowcock, said in a statement.

‘Right now, children are cut off from help. We need unfettered access, now’.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) had earlier reported  that it was impossible for humanitarians to get vital supplies into Ethiopia’s Tigray region due to the disruption of telephone lines and transport links.

At the time, there were some 600,000 food beneficiaries in the region, about 100,000 internally displaced persons, and some 96,000 refugees, according to OCHA.

The statement noted that Lowcock had released $13 million from UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to help people inside Ethiopia, with a further $5 million allocated for refugees newly arrived in Sudan.

‘On top of this funding, $12 million has been released from the UN’s Humanitarian Fund in Ethiopia and $5.6 million from the UN’s Sudan Humanitarian Fund’, the UN said.

Source: UN News

Photo source: UNHCR/Will Swanson

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