Ethiopia: Catastrophic Hunger in Tigray Amid Fears of Worse to Come

press release

In response to the new report by the IPC Famine Review Committee, Oxfam's Emergency Food Security and Vulnerable Livelihoods Advisor, Emily Farr said:

"The IPC report by independent food security experts today confirms our fears, that now 400,000 people are experiencing catastrophic hunger in Tigray, Ethiopia. The report's projections for the future are even more grim, making predictions that there is a high risk of famine.

"Farmers should have been planting the crops they rely on to eat and sell, but many had to flee their lands, and others who stayed couldn't plant because they couldn't access their fields or didn't have seeds. This comes even after the unilateral ceasefire, which was not observed as expected. Those who can get to markets are struggling to buy essential goods, as food and materials can't cross into the conflict zones. This will only deepen and prolong this cycle of hunger and the need for aid. People who have been forced from their homes do not have enough food, clean water, or access to sanitation ―and the spread of disease is on top of malnutrition is an additional major threat.

"This comes at a time when Oxfam and other humanitarians are struggling to reach those in urgent need and after a number of humanitarians have already been attacked and killed. Just this week, an aid convoy carrying materials for the UN and Oxfam was attacked by unknown forces and movement of humanitarian aid has been put on hold as a result.

"There is a true catastrophe unfolding before our eyes. The people of Ethiopia are doing all they can to support themselves and each other to survive, but need access to vital resources like food, clean water, safe shelter, and cash, and to be able to return to farming and feel hopeful they can harvest their crops in peace. Oxfam calls on all parties to respect international law, to protect civilians and ensure they are able to access humanitarian aid in safety."

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