Press Statement on the Latest Situation in the #Tigray Region

Press Statement on the Latest Situation
in the #Tigray Region

With the successful conclusion of the law enforcement
operation, the most important priority of the Ethiopian Government in the
Tigray region continues to be providing life-saving humanitarian assistance to
the affected people. In this regard, it has taken concrete measures to
comprehensively respond to the dire humanitarian needs on the ground, including
by reallocating its meager resources from other priority areas. Therefore it
should be noted that the Ethiopian Government is so far covering 70% of the food
assistance from its resources, while only the remaining 30% is covered by
development partners and NGOs.

As indicated in the latest statement from the Office of the
Prime Minister, the Ethiopian Government has provided 780,534.6 quintals of
food items to 3,800,000 beneficiaries. In addition, it has distributed non-food
items estimated at more than 80 million Birr (including emergency shelter and
emergency medicines) and allocated around 31million Birr for the maintenance of
basic infrastructures, such as water lines. It has also provided medical
supplies worth close to 199 million Birr.

The Government is also working to operationalize the health
facilities in the Region and deliver emergency supplies for the hospitals and
other health institutions. More than 2029 quintals of CSB and medicine has been
distributed to 135,267 beneficiaries, especially partners like UNICEF and other
nutrition cluster members have been heavily engaged in supplying CSB and
emergency medical supplies by focusing on children under 5, lactating and
pregnant women.

The ongoing relief operations have so far reached out to
nearly four million people and all-out efforts are being made to reach out to
every single person in need in the region. Despite the progress made thus far,
the Government recognizes that the humanitarian needs on the ground remain
enormously huge. That is why it is appealing to bilateral and multilateral
partners to scale up their support. The Government is ready to do the necessary
needs assessment jointly with partners.

Based on its continuous engagement with the international
community, the Ethiopian Government has made major policy decisions recently to
address some of the concerns that have been raised. In this connection, the
Government has made its firm and unwavering commitment not only to provide
unfettered access for the delivery of humanitarian assistance but also to
ensure its implementation on the ground. With the improvement of the security
situation on the ground, most areas of the region are now accessible, and a
notification process has been put in place to allow humanitarian actors to
travel to the region and operate without much difficulty.

The Government has made clear its unequivocal position
concerning human rights abuses and crimes allegedly committed in the Tigray
region. In this regard, it has reaffirmed its full commitment to undertake
thorough investigations to get to the bottom of the issue and bring
perpetrators to justice. The relevant Ethiopian authorities and the independent
Ethiopian Human Rights Commission are undertaking the necessary investigative
work that will enable the Government to take concrete measures to
comprehensively address the alleged serious human rights violations and bring
the perpetrators of serious crimes to justice. In this context, the Government
not only welcomed the support of international human rights experts but also
signaled the possibility of collaboration on joint investigations with the
relevant human rights bodies. Discussion is underway with the relevant
stakeholders to look at modalities for its implementation.

Furthermore, the Government is facilitating access to both
local and international media to travel to the region and do their journalistic
work. It is also committed to addressing any issues that may arise in relation
to their work. Equally important is the need for both local and international
media to follow the rules and observe the necessary code of conduct.

Finally, the Government is always ready and willing to
engage with the international community in a positive and constructive manner
to effectively respond to the humanitarian situation in the Tigray region. It
appeals to the international community to understand the complexity of the
challenge and work with the Government to scale up the ongoing relief and
reconstruction efforts to restore lasting peace and normalcy in the region.

Access is adequately created; hence it would be pointless to
call for access anymore. International media outlets have been granted
unimpeded access to the region too. The situation in Tigray calls for concrete
actions and that is food and medical assistance.

Spokesperson Office

5 March 2021


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