WHO chief says ‘situation is catastrophic’ in Ethiopia’s Tigray

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), speaks during a news conference in Geneva, Switzerland, December 20, 2021. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

NAIROBI (Somaliguardian) – The head of World Health Organization Tedros Adhanom said on Wednesday the situation in northern Ethiopia’s war-wrecked region of Tigray remained catastrophic, where 83% of the population is “food insecure”.

Tedros said the situation was worsening with residents unable to get access to “fuel, cash or communications” and people were dying after being under a blockade by Ethiopian and Eritrean forces for almost 500 days.

Just as we continue to call on Russia to make peace in Ukraine, so we continue to call on Ethiopia and Eritrea to end the blockade – the siege – and allow safe access for humanitarian supplies and workers to save lives,” Tedros tweeted. “There is no where on earth where health of millions of people is more under threat than in Tigray,” he added.

In another tweet he said: “Yes I am from Tigray, and this crisis affects me, my family and friends very personally. But as the Director-General of WHO, I have a duty to protect and promote health wherever it is under threat.”

His comments come days after Ghent University said in a report that more than 500,000 Tigrayans were killed since Ethiopian and Eritrean forces invaded the northern region in November 2020.

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