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UN aid convoy reaches Ethiopia’s conflict-hit region

The Ethiopian parliament designated the TPLF as a terrorist organization in May 2021.

IANS | Addis Ababa |

An additional aid convoy has entered Ethiopia’s conflict-hit northernmost Tigray region, aiming to reach 43,000 people with emergency food and nutritionally fortified food for 24,000 vulnerable mothers and children, the United Nations World Food Programme (UNFP) said.

A convoy of 50 trucks arriving in Mekelle, capital of Tigray, has brought essential humanitarian supplies including 1,000 metric tons of wheat and pulses, 700 metric tons of health, nutrition and wash items and 1,15,000 litres of fuel, said the UN agency, which will start distributing the food and nutrition items this week in northwestern Tigray, Xinhua news agency reported.

“We are ready and have the clearance to send in further convoys and are engaging with regional authorities to ensure the next humanitarian convoy can depart safely as soon as possible,” UNFP said on Friday.

The aid convoy in Tigray, the second in recent weeks, arrived weeks after the Ethiopian government and the rebel Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) conditionally agreed to a cessation of hostilities and unhindered delivery of humanitarian aid into the region.

Earlier this month, a 20-truck aid convoy entered Mekelle through the neighbouring Afar region, which was regarded as a breakthrough as it was the first road delivery into the regional capital since mid-December and the first humanitarian fuel supplies delivery through the corridor in eight months.

The TPLF and the Ethiopian National Defense Force, backed by allied forces, have been engaged in a nearly 18-month conflict that has reportedly left tens of thousands of people dead and millions in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.

The Ethiopian parliament designated the TPLF as a terrorist organization in May 2021.