Lack of aid access in Ethiopia's Tigray due to bureaucratic impediment: UN

Mar 03, 2021

World
Lack of aid access in Ethiopia's Tigray due to bureaucratic impediment: UN

Unites Nations, March 3: Continuing humanitarian access restrictions for Tigray, Ethiopia, is not necessarily a government denial, but a situation of bureaucratic impediment and a slow bureaucratic process, a UN spokesman said on Tuesday.
Stephane Dujarric, the chief spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, was asked whether there was any UN investigation into reports of humanitarian aid abuses, such as vandalism, looting and violence.
"Not that I'm aware of, we have very little international presence," Dujarric told a regular press briefing. "Their focus right now is on providing aid and giving food."
"We have not been able to reach all the areas we need to, especially those in the rural part of the province," he said. "I don't think we're in a situation of denial. We're in a situation of bureaucratic impediment and a slow bureaucratic process."
However, the spokesman said national and international partners of the United Nations report looting of humanitarian supplies and civilian infrastructure vandalization.
"We, along with our humanitarian partners, continue to call on the parties to the conflict to comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure," he said.
More than 80 aid workers have received Tigray clearances, but the permits are for short missions and personnel returning to Tigray. The authorizations for international staff have been basically for people who had been in Mekele, the regional capital. New staff and needs assessment missions also need clearances, he said.
Despite the challenges, humanitarians on the ground are working to increase the response, with some progress made, especially on food assistance in the main cities, Dujarric said. Also, more than 280,000 people received clean water, more than 35,000 refugees in Mai Ayni and Adi Harush camps are getting food assistance and more than 65,000 displaced people received shelter and necessary household items.
Hundreds of thousands of people affected by the conflict have not been reached, particularly in Tigray's rural areas, the spokesman said.
Source: Xinhua