The Need for Humanitarian Access in the Tigray Region in Ethiopia

Press Release Shim

Speeches Shim

Statement by Acting Deputy Administrator John Barsa

For Immediate Release

Friday, December 18, 2020
Office of Press Relations

The United States is gravely concerned by the worsening humanitarian situation that has resulted from the ongoing conflict in the Tigray Region of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. We strongly urge all parties to ensure full, safe, and unhindered humanitarian access into the Tigray Region for aid organizations, not only to deliver relief supplies but also to maintain a presence on the ground to provide life-saving assistance and basic social services safely to people affected and displaced by the conflict. Additionally, we call on all parties to respect human rights and international humanitarian law, including by protecting aid workers; civilians; and civilian infrastructure, such as houses, schools, and health centers.

While humanitarian challenges existed in the Tigray Region prior to the start of hostilities in early November, they have grown significantly worse. The United Nations estimates that 1.1 million people are in need of emergency aid because of this conflict, in addition to the 850,000 people in the region who already were receiving some form of humanitarian assistance. The current insecurity and instability are having the most dramatic effects on the most vulnerable groups, especially thousands of women and children.

We call on all parties to support relief efforts in the Tigray Region, and to allow critical aid to reach those in need, reliably and without delay. Aid workers must be able to provide critical assistance without obstruction or fear for their own safety. U.S. partners have a long history of delivering humanitarian assistance in these areas and stand ready to scale up their operations once full access is possible. The United States remains committed to helping the people of Ethiopia, but a peaceful solution to this conflict is necessary to put an end to the suffering.

For the latest updates on U.S. humanitarian assistance in Ethiopia click here.