The UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Ethiopia has appreciated the announcement that the government has opened all humanitarian corridors to accelerate unhindered access to relief supplies in Tigray, Afar and Amhara.
Approached by ENA, after the announcement made by National Disaster Risk Management Commissioner about the opening of the corridors, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Catherine Sozi said the United Nations stands ready to work and support the efforts of the government to deliver lifesaving assistance.
She also welcomed the peace agreement, which is vital to maximize the humanitarian logistic roots, accessibility, and supplies.
“I would like to say on behalf of the United Nations in Ethiopia that we are very happy to hear about the peace agreement. I mean that agreement promises will make unfettered humanitarian access wherever the needy people are across Tigray, Afar and Amhara.”
Noting that there was a call for unhindered humanitarian access to the people in need, the coordinator stated that the UN humanitarian community is now ready to really put all their efforts in supporting the efforts of the government and working with the government in all areas.
“The government of Ethiopia has announced we would have access going in and out Tigray by roads and by air.. That is really good news. It is not only a commodity but it is also people and personnel required on the ground to work with people in the various zones where people in need are to be able to respond to what we assess so that they can get what they require as soon as possible.”
According to Sozi, the UN humanitarian agencies have been providing aid and lifesaving assistance to many people in Tigray, Afar, and Amhara regions.
But the supplies have not been enough to the level which we expect because of the conflict, the coordinator pointed out.
With the promise of the cessation of hostilities, she said we welcome this because that means number one the impact of the conflict which has been very severe to ordinary people has been huge and they can get what they need to be able to recover.
“Secondly, we will be able to move much more that we need in terms of food, health products, commodities, nutrition products for children and agricultural products.”
Sozi explained that this is good news for the people of Tigray, Afar and Amhara. “For the people in Tigray, Afar and Amhara, this is good; and we as the UN have promised to do everything in our capacity to respond as soon as possible with everything that we have in order to be able to do this.”
The UN will be monitoring and meeting regularly to ensure where we are going to meet people, what commodities we give to people and where they will get them as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, the National Disaster Risk Management Commissioner, Shiferaw Tekle Mariam, said yesterday that “all corridors of humanitarian access to Tigray as well as the two regional states, Amhara and Afar are open for any kind of operation. That is all kinds of supplies like food, non-food items, medical equipment, medicine and other related materials.
The commissioner also called on donors to make possible this very engagement and partners to make sure these supplies reach the needy people in Tigray, Amhara and Afar.
The government, jointly with humanitarian partners, may also refine some of the engagement, particularly targeting the needy.
Moreover, he stated that there are several teams that are organized at the ground level for the upcoming distribution of humanitarian supplies.
“Those grassroots level include various mechanisms, mobilizing communities and all kinds of arrangement that may be needed at the ground level. And also some security apparatus which may still need to join hands to work together basically to coordinate with the local team. That is the core point which I would like to mention. Otherwise, the usual routine type of requests for whatever will be shipping to the northern region will remain intact, particularly to Tigray regional state.”
The Ethiopian government will be very much open and flexible to deal with whatever resources problems that the humanitarian actors would face, Shiferaw underscored.
The four major humanitarian corridors opened pass through Gondar-Humera-Sheraro-Shire-Axum-Adwa, Adiarikay-MaiTsemri-Shire, Woldia-Kobbo-Alamata-Mekelle, and Semera-Abala-Mekelle.