Politics

“Children’s lives hang in the balance”: Save the Children calls for unimpeded humanitarian aid in conflict-hit Amhara region

Addis Abeba – Save the Children called on Wednesday for access for humanitarian aid to continue in Ethiopia’s Amhara region where a state of emergency has been declared after a renewal in violence.

Save the Children’s Country Director for Ethiopia, Xavier Joubert, said the lives of families and children were being put at risk as the region faced an alarming escalation of conflict about nine months after a truce agreement ended two years of violence.

“The wounds from the recent war remain raw, and yet again, children’s lives hang in the balance. As a humanitarian organization we call upon warring parties to prioritize the safety of civilians and allow humanitarian aid to reach those in need including 580,000 people in the region already displaced by previous conflict. We must shield vulnerable children from violence, displacement, hunger, and abuse and it is imperative that vulnerable families are granted safety and unimpeded access to essential humanitarian aid.”

The regional state is under a state of emergency approved by the Council of Ministers but is yet to be approved by the HoPR, will primarily be implemented in the Amhara regional state, but in the wake of situations that exacerbate the security crisis in the region or nationwide, it can be implemented anywhere in the country, according to Gedion Timotheows, Minister of Justice.  

Under the SoE, civilian administration of the Amhara region is suspended and various individuals rights are restricts with the Command Post authorized to take several measures and prohibitions during the six month period of time when the state of emergency is expected to last.

However, reports emerging from the regional state indicate to continued military hostiles between government forces and the non-state local militia group called Fano.

Save the Children has been operating in Ethiopia, including in the Amhara regional state, for over 60 years. “The organization focuses on health, nutrition, water and sanitation, protection services, education and cash and in-kind distributions. In 2022, Save the Children reached about 7.6 million people including about 5.1 million children through life-saving food, water distribution, and treatment for malnutrition among other services,” according to a statement from the organization. AS

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