Panafrican News Agency

Ethiopian crisis: US welcomes delivery of humanitarian aid to Tigray

Washington, DC, US (PANA) - The United States has welcomed the arrival  on Friday of a convoy of trucks carrying life-saving humanitarian items to Tigray.

A statement by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, said the US appreciates the efforts of the government of Ethiopia, Tigrayan regional authorities, and Afar regional authorities in facilitating that delivery.

He also commended the United Nations agencies, international organisations, U.S. government partners, and the ongoing efforts of humanitarian organizations across Ethiopia to provide aid to all those in need.

The UN World Food Programme acknowledged the arrival of the humanitarian items in a tweet on Friday.

It said: "All 50 trucks just arrived safely #Mekelle bringing essential humanitarian supplies, including 1,000 mt of wheat and pulses, 700 mt of health, nutrition and WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) items +115,000 litres of fuel."

Mr. Blinken reiterated the importance of "significant, sustained, unconditional, and unhindered humanitarian access" to Tigray, as well as to all communities that are suffering, including the people in Afar, and the urgency of the resumption of basic services, including electricity, telecommunications and banking.

He stressed that the "continued commitment of the government of Ethiopia and Tigrayan authorities to a cessation of hostilities remains a critical step toward reconciliation and peace".

In that regard, Mr. Blinken said the US welcomes the withdrawal of Tigrayan forces from Erebti and underscores the importance of further withdrawals from Afar regional state.

"The parties must continue to build on this progress to advance a negotiated and sustainable end of conflict. Progress toward this goal is an essential foundation for restoration of essential services in Tigray and an inclusive political process to provide security and prosperity for all Ethiopians," the US Secretary of State said.

The Ethiopian government said the humanitarian convoy was in fulfilment of implementation of its recently declared humanitarian truce to cater for the needs of the people of Tigray.

It said that the federal government was also facilitating daily air transportation to the region for the delivery of pharmaceuticals, medical equipment and nutritional supplements.

"The Ethiopian government reaffirms its commitment to work closely with the international community and other stakeholders to ensure proper access to humanitarian aid," the statement said.

The government has also urged the international community to put pressure on Tigray militants to withdraw fully from the areas they occupy in the Afar and Amhara regions to pave the way for a smooth aid delivery for those in need.

-0- PANA MA/VAO 16April2022