The United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Martin Griffiths, started a six-day visit to Ethiopia on Thursday to discuss further humanitarian action in the country, which has recently witnessed an increase in violence.
“This visit is an opportunity to discuss with the Government of Ethiopia’s officials and partners how the United Nations and its humanitarian partners can best serve the people of Ethiopia.
I look forward to constructive discussions on scaling up the humanitarian response across the country,” Griffiths said in a release.
During his visit, Griffiths is expected to meet with high-level government officials, humanitarians and donors.
He added that the armed conflict in Tigray, droughts in the Somali, Oromia, and Afar regions, coupled with existing challenges associated with floods, the desert locust infestation, chronic food insecurity, and the COVID-19 pandemic, have increased humanitarian needs in the country in 2021.
The UN chief also plans to conduct a first-hand assessment of operations in the Tigray region, where an estimated 5.2 million people (about 90% of the population) require humanitarian aid.
Clashes in the province of Tigray erupted in November after the Ethiopian government accused the local ruling party the Tigray People’s Liberation Front of ambushing a regional army post to hijack weapons and arm the anti-government militia.—AP