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Tigray: Armed Conflict

Question for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

UIN HL459, tabled on 24 May 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the assessment of the EU foreign service, reported on 17 May, that the humanitarian situation in Ethiopia's Tigray region “is worse than ever since the conflict began last November”; that 5.2 million people are in need of “emergency food assistance” to avoid starvation; and that “blocking humanitarian aid as a weapon of war is a grave violation of international humanitarian law”.

Answered on

8 June 2021

The UK shares the concerns raised by the EU. The UK has been consistent in calling for the protection of civilians in Ethiopia, unfettered humanitarian access, and respect for human rights. Currently 5.2 million are in need of food aid. We are deeply concerned about the impact of the conflict on food security and nutrition in Tigray, including reports of people dying from hunger. We are also extremely concerned about the use of hunger and food insecurity as methods of war. We have raised these points with the Government in Addis Ababa consistently and at the highest levels, most recently during the visit of the Special Envoy for Famine Prevention and Humanitarian Affairs from 19-25 May.

UK-funded aid agencies in Tigray are delivering support in challenging circumstances, including food, shelter, water and healthcare. Teams from the British Embassy in Addis Ababa visited Tigray from 4-5 March, 4-7 April and the week of 19 April and met with humanitarian agencies working in the region. To date the UK has provided £22 million of badly needed support to people in Tigray. We continue to call for unfettered humanitarian access.