UN Relief Chief calls for de-escalation of violence in Tigray region

The Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mark Lowcock |Photo: Prokeraia

Nov 18, 2020 (Thessherald)–The Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator of the United Nations, Mark Lowcock, has expressed deep concern over the growing violence in the Tigray region and urged the warring parties to allow humanitarian aid to reach vulnerable populations.

“I am increasingly concerned about the evolving humanitarian situation in northern Ethiopia and neighbouring areas,” said Lowcock.

Relief Chief Mark Lowcock

Adding that, “Even before the current hostilities, nearly a million people in Tigray, and millions more who live in close proximity to its regional and national boundaries, were in need of humanitarian assistance. Many humanitarian organizations, working closely with national, regional and local authorities, have been deeply involved in helping meet those needs for many years.”

The top UN official noted that, “ the current situation is heightening the needs and the vulnerability of local people. It is disrupting the work of UN and other humanitarian organizations.”

He called on both sides to respect International Humanitarian Law and safeguard aid workers who are currently providing life-saving humanitarian assistance in the conflict zone.

“I call for full access to reach people in need wherever they are; safe passage for civilians seeking assistance; and the security of aid workers. Humanitarian workers must be able to deliver assistance without fear of attack.”

“Our humanitarian priorities in the region are the protection of civilians, including children; preventing gender-based violence; and getting food, clean water and health care to those who need it, including civilians displaced by ongoing hostilities.”

“The UN is engaging with the Government and relevant authorities to facilitate immediate and unimpeded humanitarian access. We are committed to staying and delivering humanitarian assistance.”

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