The Director General of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has called for humanitarian access to Tigray in order to allow WHO deliver life-saving medical supplies to the region.
The WHO chief said that the global health body has not been permitted to deliver medical and humanitarian supplies to the conflict-hit region since July 2021 despite repeated requests.
He said that the WHO was able to dispatch 14 metric tonnes of medical supplies to Afar region and 70 metric tonnes to Amhara in December 2021 but has continually been denied access to Tigray.
‘Even in the toughest periods of conflict in Syria, South Sudan, Yemen and others, WHO and partners have had access to save lives. However, in Tigray, the de facto blockade is preventing access to humanitarian supplies which is killing people’, he tweeted.
‘I urge all leaders and key stakeholders in conflict to remember that those who work for peace are the heroes history remembers. We need health for peace and peace for health’.
More than 2.1 million people have been displaced due to fighting between Ethiopian troops and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), the regional government in Tigray.
The fighting started after the TPLF attacked a key Ethiopian military base in the region in November 2020.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) had said that a lack of medicines, fuel, and other essential commodities was severely disrupting humanitarian response and has led to the near total collapse of the health system in Tigray.
Source: Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
Photo source: UNHCR/Will Swanson