A convoy of medical aid, the first since late August, arrived Tuesday (November 15) in the capital of Tigray, following a peace agreement reached in early November to end the war in the northern Ethiopian region, the ICRC said.
“The first ICRC medical supplies have just arrived in Mekele (…) by road,” Jude Fuhnwi, spokesman for the International Committee of the Red Cross in Ethiopia.
After a five-month truce, the resumption of hostilities at the end of August between the rebel authorities in Tigray and the federal army and its allies interrupted most of the delivery of humanitarian aid – already largely insufficient – to Tigray.
Two “trucks have delivered 40 tonnes of essential medical equipment, emergency medicines, and surgical supplies” to health facilities in the region “to treat the most urgent cases,” the ICRC said in a statement.
“Although some health facilities in Tigray are no longer functioning, those still open lack basic medicines and equipment and other essential supplies,” the organization said.
“The ICRC hopes to continue these deliveries on a regular basis and significantly increase the humanitarian response in Tigray,” whose six million inhabitants have been largely deprived of food and medicine for more than a year.
The Ethiopian government and the rebel authorities in Tigray signed a peace agreement in Pretoria on November 2 to end a two-year deadly war in northern Ethiopia.
Military leaders from both sides also initialed a document on Saturday to implement the provisions of the agreement, including the disarmament of rebels and the delivery of humanitarian aid to Tigray.