World Vision welcomes the announcement by the government of Ethiopia of a unilateral ‘humanitarian ceasefire’ and calls on all sides in the conflict to promote peace and humanitarian access in Tigray following the latest military developments.
“Staff are currently hunkered down and assessing the situation on the ground in Tigray”, says Karmen Trajkov Till – acting National Director of World Vision in Ethiopia, “but they are eager to get back to work delivering vital aid and assistance to a region where children are in great need.”
Tigray has been beset by months of conflict and drought which means that there are millions of people facing famine-like conditions, and displaced and living in temporary shelter, in need of urgent humanitarian assistance
There are currently 5.2 million people, including children in need of assistance, one million people internally displaced, while more than 63,000 people have fled to neighbouring Sudan. COVID-19 is also an ongoing threat which has forced the closure of schools for months, many of which are also being used as displacement centres.
“The ceasefire, announced by the government on June 28, provides an opportunity to widen humanitarian access within the region and rapidly scale the delivery of assistance, if peace can be maintained”, Trajkov Till comments. “We call on all parties to respect international humanitarian law, unfettered humanitarian access and protection of civilians.”
Getting aid to those in need is absolutely essential and urgent because 401,000 people in Ethiopia are predicted to be facing a hunger catastrophe (IPC5) during July to September, with 1.8m living on the edge of starvations (IPC4). The majority of these people are in the Tigray region.
“Communications with World Vision staff is currently hampered by poor telecommunications but we know our staff in Mekele are currently safe and eager to resume work providing food assistance, water and sanitation support and delivering child protection programmes that keep children safe from a huge range of threats”, says Trajkov Till.
World Vision has worked in Tigray for four decades, delivering humanitarian assistance and partnering with communities via 13 long-term development projects aimed at improving the lives of 19,254 registered children and their families.
World Vision is currently targeting 1.5 million people in Tigray with a $50m response and has so far reached 465,000 people (134,920 children and 256,000 women) through water, sanitation and hygiene programmes, food and nutrition assistance, and livelihood, protection, education, and shelter programmes.
Andrew Morley, World Vision International President and CEO, said: “We urgently need to continue delivering life-saving assistance to children and their families in Tigray – but we can only do this if peace is secured. I pray this will happen without delay, for the sake of families who have been pushed to the very edge of survival because of this historic hunger crisis. World Vision and other agencies must be allowed to get back to the task of supporting those in greatest need, unhampered by security concerns.”
To book an interview with Karmen Trajkov Till – acting National Director of World Vision in Ethiopia, contact:
Kebede Gizachew Ayalew
WV Ethiopia Communication & External Relations Manager, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Mobile: +251 96 627 0109