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.”

UN humanitarian chief calls for urgent end to violence in S. Sudan

UN Humanitarian Chief, Mark Lowcock.
UN Humanitarian Chief, Mark Lowcock | Photo: File

September 17, 2020 (Thessherald)–The UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mark Lowcock, has called for an end to the ongoing cycles of violence in South Sudan.

The UN diplomat made this call during a briefing to the Security Council on the situation in South Sudan, “noting that violence, COVID-19, floods and economic downturn have exacerbated the already dire humanitarian situation.”

The UN humanitarian chief reiterated the need for a political solution to end the violence in parts of South Sudan, and called for safe and unhindered access to vulnerable people, as well as additional funding to help meet rising humanitarian needs.

South Sudan currently faces many challenges since the COVID-19 outbreak, which has pushed millions of people to the brink of starvation.

Earlier this year, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs confirmed that about 7. million people could face a worse humanitarian crisis and that more than 6.5 others could be severely affected at the height of the annual hunger season.

“Despite an extremely challenging environment, humanitarians assisted nearly 5.1 million people across South Sudan in 2020. Pre-positioning humanitarian supplies ahead of the rainy season and distributing double rations have been crucial in mitigating the effects of COVID-19 restrictions.”