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News: Impending drought-related humanitarian crisis in Tigray prompts urgent international aid appeal

Officials from the Abergelle Yechila district have expressed the grave severity of the circumstances arising from the drought, noting the tragic loss of 83 lives and an additional 297 individuals in critical condition (Photo: Screenshot)

Addis Abeba – In a desperate call for aid, Tigray’s interim administration today implored the global community for humanitarian assistance as the region faces an impending catastrophe wrought by the devastating aftermath of war and an intense drought.

Today’s statement announces that the Tigray region is on the brink of a humanitarian emergency of massive scale, reminiscent of the catastrophic famine of 1984/85 that resulted in extensive loss of life throughout Ethiopia.

According to the statement, the region has suffered considerable destruction of essential infrastructure and healthcare systems due to the effects of war, leading to the displacement of over a million individuals and the severe impoverishment of millions of Tigrayan inhabitants, stripping them of their means of subsistence.

The statement further added that this crisis is exacerbated by inadequate seasonal rains in three zones, unpredictable weather patterns, and a locust plague affecting two zones, culminating in an extremely grave situation.

“Vulnerable segments of society, particularly children, the elderly, and pregnant or nursing women, are succumbing to the dire effects of hunger, while millions more in Tigray confront the grim possibility of facing an unimaginable fate: death,” the statement said.

The Interim Administration of Tigray underscores the critical nature of the current crisis and urgently calls upon both the federal government and the global community to honor their ethical and legal responsibilities by intervening promptly to forestall impending starvation and loss of human life. This appeal stresses the imperative need for immediate measures to be taken in order to prevent an escalating humanitarian disaster.

In a recent press conference, Gebrehiwot Gebregzabher, the Commissioner of the Disaster Risk Management Commission of Tigray, disclosed that more than two million people across 32 districts and 196 localities within five zones are presently facing severe food shortages.

In the span of a single month, close to 400 individuals, of whom 25 are children, have perished due to starvation, with the majority of these fatalities occurring within four districts.

Prior articles published by Addis Standard have underscored the critical nature of the drought, which has led to 190 deaths in the locales of Abergelle Yechila within the Central Tigray Zone and Atsbi in the Eastern Zone of Tigray.

Recently, Shiferaw Teklemariam, the Commissioner for the federal government’s Disaster Risk Management Commission, issued a categorical caution regarding the use of terminology, specifically admonishing those who characterize the crisis as a famine and report deaths due to starvation.

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In an interview with state-affiliated media, the Commissioner stated, “The information that the drought has escalated to famine is unfounded and is being propagated by entities with hidden agendas.” AS

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