“There is currently a famine in Ethiopia,” UN aid chief Mark Lowcock warned Thursday.
According to the Global Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) system, which assesses food insecurity and malnutrition around the world, substantial parts of the Tigray region are currently classified as “IPC 5 disaster”. – its most serious classification.
According to the report, one of the main causes of the desperate food situation in Tigray is the conflict: “This serious crisis results from the cascading effects of the conflict, including population displacement, movement restrictions, limited humanitarian access. , loss of crops and livelihoods, and dysfunctions or non-existent markets. “
UN agencies say they are particularly concerned about the risk of widespread famine in Tigray, if the conflict escalates and humanitarian aid is severely hampered.
In a tweet following the report’s publication, Lowcock called for urgent funding and unhindered access for aid deliveries.
On Thursday, US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield called on the UN Security Council to meet publicly on the Tigray region and demand responses from the Ethiopian government.
“We cannot let Ethiopia starve to death. We must act now,” she said.
Fighting between Ethiopian government troops and the region’s former ruling party, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), erupted in November 2020. Troops from neighboring Eritrea recently joined the conflict in support the Ethiopian government.
The Ethiopian government has denied the existence of severe food shortages in the country.