UN resumes partial food aid to Ethiopia’s Tigray region

After a three-month hiatus, the U.N. World Food Programme (WFP) announced on Tuesday that it has recommenced the distribution of food aid in certain areas of Ethiopia’s Tigray region.

In May, the WFP temporarily halted food aid to the northern region due to reports of extensive misappropriation of donations. Subsequently, in June, it suspended aid to the entire country of Ethiopia, a move that was mirrored by the United States.

With over 20 million individuals requiring food assistance, Ethiopia, the second most populous country in Africa, is grappling with a severe food crisis. This situation has arisen primarily due to the region’s most severe drought in decades and a two-year-long civil conflict in Tigray.

The WFP had been delivering urgent food aid to nearly six million of these individuals.

Starting from July 31, the organization began testing and confirming new protocols to provide food aid in four districts of Tigray, benefiting slightly over 100,000 eligible individuals.

“The test distributions are being rolled out at seven food distribution points where WFP and partners have completed targeting of beneficiaries and digitally registered them,” the agency said in a statement.

The suspension of aid drew criticism from Ethiopia’s government, which announced an investigation into the theft allegations. Both the WFP and the U.S. Agency for International Development emphasized their commitment to ensuring aid reached its intended beneficiaries before resuming assistance.

The WFP affirmed its ongoing collaboration with partners to assess the effectiveness of the latest measures before extending aid distribution, including to individuals in Amhara, Afar, and Somali regions.

This development follows recent unrest in Amhara, where confrontations between regional militiamen and the military have rapidly evolved into Ethiopia’s most pressing security challenge since the conclusion of the Tigray civil war.

Scroll to Top