Full Scale Humanitarian Crisis Unfolds in Ethiopia’s Tigray, UN Says

A “full scale” humanitarian crisis is unfolding in the Tigray region of Ethiopia as over 27,000 refugees flee to Sudan to seek safety from the ongoing conflict, the United Nations (UN) refugee agency said last Nov. 17.

A “full scale” humanitarian crisis is unfolding in the Tigray region of Ethiopia as over 27,000 refugees flee to Sudan to seek safety from the ongoing conflict, the United Nations (UN) refugee agency said last Nov. 17.

“Women, men and children have been crossing the border at the rate of 4,000 per day since 10 November, rapidly overwhelming the humanitarian response capacity on the ground,” United Nations Higher Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) Spokesperson Babar Baloch said.

“People are coming out of Ethiopia really scared, afraid, with stories saying they have been fleeing heavy fighting and there’s no sign of the fighting stopping,” Baloch further said.

UNHCR said that it has already relocated 2,500 refugees to the Um Raquba settlement site in eastern Sudan since last. Nov. 14.

UNCHR and other UN agencies, including the World Food Programme (WFP) and UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS), have increased their relief operations and supports the response of the Sudanese government for the refugees.

But Baloch said that the needs continue to grow.

“After nearly two weeks of conflict, reports of larger numbers of internally displaced grow daily, while the lack of access to those in need, coupled with the inability to move in goods to the region, remain major impediments to providing assistance,” Baloch said.

The conflict in Tigray started when Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed launched a military offensive last Nov. 4, announcing it was “at war” with ruling Party Tigray People’s Liberation Front, which he accused of attacking federal troops.


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