Addis Ababa(Mogadishu24)-Ethiopia’s Disaster Risk Management Commission and the Food Cluster warned Wednesday that nearly 4 million people who mostly live in the drought-stricken states require urgent food assistance. 

The worst affected areas by the ongoing drought include the Afar, Amhara, Tigray and Oromia regions and southern and southwest states.

“The overlap of acute food insecurity, high malnutrition rates, severe water scarcity coupled with a surge in disease outbreaks (malaria, measles, and cholera), and livestock impacts are worsening the situation in drought-affected regions”, according to the commission.

Despite severe resource constraints and operational difficulties, including fighting in pocket areas, the commission said the government and humanitarian partners scaled up life-saving efforts in the most affected areas.

Since December, with the resumption of food assistance, partners have provided “food aid to approximately 6.5 million people in the Amhara, Tigray, Somali, and Afar regions.”

The warning comes as the war-stricken region of Tigray is witnessing one of the worst humanitarian crises in the country in decades.

More than 860 people have died in Tigray since September due to hunger, according to the Tigray communication bureau.

Tigray’s regional administration interim head, Getachew Reda, said in late December that the situation is a “catastrophe” comparable to the 1984 famine that left millions dead in Ethiopia.

He said the legacies of the destructive war in Tigray and drought-induced famine have created a deadly combination that exposed 91% of Tigray citizens to the risk of starvation.

Reda said thousands of Tigrayans have perished due to lack of food since the signing of the Pretoria Agreement that ended the conflict between the Ethiopian government and The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) in November 2022.

His interim government declared a state of emergency in early December due to the ongoing humanitarian crisis.

Source: AA

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