UN emergency funding released for humanitarian response to Ethiopia’s Tigray conflict
Hazim Elhag

UN emergency funding released for humanitarian response to Ethiopia’s Tigray conflict

The UN has released US$35.6 million for water, sanitation, medical supplies and protection for civilians caught up in Ethiopia’s Tigray region conflict.

Weeks of fighting in northern Ethiopia’s Tigray region have reportedly left hundreds of people dead, thousands displaced and millions in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. More than 50,000 people, almost half of them children, have arrived in Sudan since November.

In Ethiopia, the UN’s emergency funds will help health facilities get medicines, gloves and other supplies to care for the sick and injured, and fund nutrition, drinking water and shelter. In Sudan, the funding will prioritize life-saving assistance to refugees, including shelter, health care and drinking water.

The UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mark Lowcock, said: “After six weeks of conflict, the civilian toll is mounting. Women and children arrive in Sudan with disturbing stories of violence, deprivation and abuse. Many have not made it out.

“Conflicts like this are hard to stop once they get out of control, the lives they extinguish cannot be brought back, and the grievances they create are long lasting. Right now, children are cut off from help. We need unfettered access now.”

The UN humanitarian chief has released $13 million from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to help people inside Ethiopia and $5 million for refugees newly arrived in Sudan. On top of this funding, $12 million has been released from the UN Humanitarian Fund in Ethiopia and $5.6 million from the UN Sudan Humanitarian Fund.

Women, children, older people and disabled people will be prioritized as the funding is disbursed.

In 2020, CERF provided time-critical, innovative and life-saving assistance that helped 65 million people across 52 countries and territories at a total value of about $900 million – the highest ever amount CERF has allocated in a single year. This year, 18 country-based pooled funds have allocated $689 million to 600 partner organizations so far (with another $102 million under approval).