Ethiopia: Millions of Children in Tigray Remain Out of Reach, Despite Access Agreement - Unicef

Ethiopian refugees fleeing clashes in the country's northern Tigray region cross the border into Hamdayet, Sudan.

New York — Statement by UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore

"Some 2.3 million children in Tigray, Ethiopia, remain cut off from humanitarian assistance amid continuing violence since the beginning of November.

"We are extremely concerned that the longer access to them is delayed, the worse their situation will become as supplies of food, including ready-to-use therapeutic food for the treatment of child malnutrition, medicines, water, fuel and other essentials run low.

"Protecting these children, many of whom are refugees and internally displaced, and providing them with humanitarian aid must be a priority.

"Together with our humanitarian partners, we stand ready to provide lifesaving humanitarian support, including treatment for malnourished children, critical vaccines, emergency medicines, and water and sanitation supplies. We have already provided some supplies to a number of partners in Tigray but this is not enough. We need to be able to provide support at scale in Tigray and to have full access to determine the scale of children's needs.

"We call for urgent, sustained, unconditional and impartial humanitarian access to all families in need wherever they are.

"We also urge authorities to allow the free movement of civilians wishing to seek safety elsewhere. This includes those requesting to cross the border to seek international protection.

"Meeting the critical needs of children and women must not be delayed any longer."

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