Ethiopian Army

There has been substantial improvement in humanitarian access in Tigray region in northern Ethiopia, but continued fighting is driving massive displacement, creating a dire situation, the United Nations said on Wednesday.

With active hostilities reported in several parts of Tigray, tens of thousands of people shifted towards urban areas, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said.

“Some humanitarian partners have accessed the towns of Gijet and Samre, in the southern and southeastern zone, where they report that most of the population has fled,” the office said in a release. “The Alamata-Mekelle-Adigrat-Shire road remains partially accessible.”

An estimated 2.5 million people in rural areas of Tigray – Ethiopia’s northernmost region – have not had access to essential services over the last five months since the conflict began. A recent assessment report said there could be as many as 450,000 displaced people in the town of Shire.

Humanitarian partners face capacity and resource challenges while scaling up the response, which the UN deems inadequate for the estimated 4.5 million people who need life-saving assistance, citing data from the Tigray interim administration.

“More funding is urgently needed to help all affected people,” the UN office said.

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