The abysmal humanitarian situation in Tigray is continuing to deteriorate and the United States, European Union, and United Nations all have a duty to intervene and do everything in their power to put an end to the widespread suffering, said USAID Administrator Samantha Power.
“We know what is happening in Tigray, despite the complex nature of the conflict and the attempts at obfuscation by the Ethiopian government. And with that knowledge comes a duty to do all we can to end it…” said Power during Thursday’s roundtable meeting between the United States and European Union.
In Ethiopia’s war-torn region of Tigray, an estimated 5.2 million people are in desperate need of food assistance. The conflict in Tigray has ravaged the region’s food supply as reports indicate that soldiers have been burning fields, destroying farming equipment, and slaughtering livestock.
The United States recently imposed visa restrictions and limits on economic and security aid to Ethiopia, also announcing Wednesday $181 million in new humanitarian aid to the region.
However, Administrator Power emphasizes that there is still much more work to be done and a solution requires joint action from the whole international community.
“More resources are needed, and condemnation requires a chorus. That’s why today’s event is so important: so that we can all speak with one voice about our commitment to the people in Tigray, so we can demand together that Prime Minister Abiy bring an end to the suffering in the region,” said Administrator Power of the meeting Thursday.
The violence and destruction in Ethiopia’s Tigray region have been extensive, laying waste to critical economic infrastructure, health facilities, and putting millions at risk of famine or death.
Reports indicate that just 16% of Tigray’s health facilities are still working after soldiers have destroyed and looted the majority of hospitals and clinics.
The violence in Tigray has been immense, including systematic sexual violence, forced displacements, massacres, and other human rights abuses that indicate a campaign to disrupt and destroy the livelihoods of Tigrayans.
Despite mounting pressure from the United States and European Union for a cessation of hostilities, the violence and conflict continues, and humanitarian access is severely limited.
“The member states of the U.N. Security Council, particularly its African members, must move to support putting this crisis on the Council’s agenda to pressing Abiy to agree to a ceasefire, to rein in Ethiopia’s Eritrean and Amharan allies, to remove the physical and bureaucratic roadblocks that currently leave one million people beyond the reach of humanitarian aid,” said USAID Administrator Samantha Power.
She explained that, as the scope of the humanitarian crisis in Tigray comes to light, the United States and its allies have an obligation to take urgent and critical action to help aid those in suffering. “It is time, it is well past time, for action,” she declared.