Addis Abeba – Ethiopian Red Cross Tigray branch office has said it is unable to deliver its services to drought and conflict-stricken people in the Tigray due to scarcity of medicine and challenges related to logistics. The Ethiopian Red Cross on its part, told Addis Standard that it has lost communications with its Tigray branch offices.
Berhanu Mekonen, the director of Ethiopian Red Cross Tigray branch, said that although the branch’s medical service has been declining since the past two years, it has deteriorated at the moment.
“There is no supply, we can’t offer medicine to our pharmacy branches all over Tigray, there is no access to bank and telephone communication and we don’t know in what situation our branch offices are,” Berhanu added.
In his interview with the local media, Berhanu emphasized despite the hope for adequate supply of medicine and materials following the peace agreement between Tigray authorities and the federal government of Ethiopia, the scarcity of supply still persists.
He urged the international community to lend a hand in providing the necessary supply having considered the extent of the situation into account.
Mesfin Dereje, humanitarian diplomacy communication director at the Ethiopian Red Cross, said that the Ethiopian Red Cross couldn’t provide basic medicines to Mekelle due to lack of access.
“As there is no telephone access, we don’t have any information and any communication with our red cross branch office in Tigray,” he told Addis Standard.
Red cross has sent two rounds of food grains and materials for humanitarian support to Tigray region worth 17 million birr collaborating with the international red cross community, he added.
He said that the Ethiopian red cross drafted a plan to support the conflict-affected areas and it will help with full capacity if full access is provided.
“A fragile truce has allowed partial access to Tigray. But the long months of conflict have caused immense harm. Hospitals are damaged or destroyed. Water, electricity, and medicines are in short supply. Hunger, even among healthcare staff themselves, is everywhere. People have been displaced over and over again” the International Red Cross Community reported.
On Sunday, the leader of Tigray region, Debretsion Gebremichael (PhD), decried that there was no proper flow of humanitarian aid, including medicines and restoration of basic services, as they have been limited to certain areas. AS