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News: Conflict in Amhara region disrupts delivery of food aid, transportation of fertilizers

A truck carrying edible oil and emergency food supplies, dispatched by the Ethiopian Red Cross Society two weeks ago, remains stranded in Bahir Dar city due to a road block (Photo: ERCS)

Addis Abeba – The ongoing conflict in Amhara region has resulted in road closures, severely disrupting the timely delivery of crucial food aid to drought-affected communities in the Waghimra zone for over two weeks.

Officials from the Ethiopian Red Cross Society (ERCS) have revealed that a truck carrying edible oil and emergency food supplies, dispatched two weeks ago, remains stranded in Bahir Dar city due to the fighting, which has blocked access to the intended destinations.

Mesfin Dereje, the Communication Director for Humanitarian Diplomacy at ERCS, explained to Addis Standard that the conflict directly obstructs the delivery of vital assistance. He cited previous instances where fighting led to road closures and hindered aid access to multiple cities in the region.

Mesfin also noted that additional aid convoys planned for the drought-affected Waghimra zone have also been unable to be deployed due to the volatile situation.

The Waghimra zone, including Sehala district, has been grappling with depleted water resources, crop failure, and livestock loss due to months of minimal rainfall. This has resulted in at least 18 reported deaths from starvation.

Education officials in Sehala have also reported a decline in student enrollment, with 1,688 students being forced to drop out as families move in search of water and employment opportunities.

Additionally, the conflict in the Amhara region has disrupted the transportation of soil fertilizer. The Amhara Bureau of Agriculture recently highlighted the challenges faced in transporting soil fertilizer, which had started to be transported from Djibouti port.

Bureau representatives have mentioned that “extremist forces” have been looting supplies, hindering the timely provision of inputs necessary for farmers. They have appealed for community cooperation to ensure the scheduled delivery of the region’s fertilizer share, as it is crucial for achieving irrigation development goals.

Furthermore, government universities in the region have announced that they will not resume normal academic activities in the foreseeable future due to the ongoing conflict in various parts of the area. The Amhara University Presidents’ Forum released a statement explaining that all 10 universities in the region have unanimously decided not to recall students until security conditions improve.

The forum cited unsafe roads, the inability to guarantee student safety, and the announcement that local suppliers are unable to transport goods and services due to the prevailing instability. AS

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