United Nations Warns of Worsening Famine in Ethiopia’s Tigray

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More than 350,000 people are facing “catastrophic conditions” in the Tigray region of Ethiopia, according to United Nations agencies.

Food aid is urgently needed, life-saving interventions should be scaled up and the government should allow unimpeded access to those in need, a report from the Food and Agriculture Organization, the World Food Programme and Unicef released on Thursday found.

The number of households classified as “catastrophe,” is the highest in a single country in the past decade, while 2 million people are in the emergency level of acute food insecurity, the agencies said in the report on the FAO’s website.

Tigray, in northern Ethiopia, has been engulfed in conflict since November, when federal troops retaliated against an attack by regional soldiers on an army base. Seven months later, tens of thousands of people have fled the area.

“There is famine now in Tigray,” Mark Lowcock, under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator, said on a U.S.-European Union round-table discussion.

Ethiopia is expected to be on the agenda at the Group of Seven nations summit this weekend.

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