More than 350,000 people in Ethiopia’s war-torn Tigray are experiencing “catastrophic” famine, with millions more at risk, according to the United Nations.
Why is this important: This is the highest number of people living in famine since 2011, when an estimated 250,000 people died of hunger in Somalia, according to a report by the Integrated Food Security Classification, responsible for assessing food insecurity. in the world.
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Details: The IPC system has placed parts of the Tigray region in the most severe “IPC 5” status. The agency states that in these places “[s]starvation, death, destitution and extremely critical levels of acute malnutrition are evident. “
Several United Nations agencies estimate that more than 5.5 million people in Tigray and some surrounding areas face high levels of acute food insecurity. Among these, 2 million people are in “IPC 4”, suffering from high malnutrition which could turn into famine.
What they say : “The brutal reality for our staff in Tigray is that for every family we reach with vital food, there are countless more, especially in rural areas, that we cannot reach, ”said David Beasley. , Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Program.
“We have appealed for humanitarian access, but we are still blocked by armed groups. The ability of the people of Tigray to access life-saving services and WFP to provide them with food aid is essential to avert a disaster, ”he added.
“[W]Without humanitarian access to scale up our response, an estimated 33,000 severely malnourished children in currently inaccessible areas of Tigray are at high risk of death. The world cannot allow this to happen, “said Henrietta Fore, Executive Director of UNICEF.
Catch up quickly: Fighting between the Ethiopian government and the region’s former ruling party, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Tigray, began last November. “The violence has killed thousands of civilians and forced more than 2 million people from their homes in the mountainous region,” writes Reuters.
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