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Statement

As tensions rise in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, the IRC calls on all parties to prioritize de-escalation and protect civilians and the most vulnerable

The International Rescue Committee (IRC)  is extremely concerned about escalating tensions and hostilities in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, where many refugees, displaced people and local communities are reeling from a year of multiple humanitarian disasters. The COVID-19 pandemic, massive flooding and a desert locust outbreak destroying crops have led to an increasingly dire humanitarian situation and increased food insecurity. 

Elinor Raikes, Vice President Crisis Response, Recovery and Development, said,

“Any Conflict will hit the most vulnerable the hardest, and they cannot afford to be neglected. All parties must commit to ensuring the safety of these populations and adhere to international law. 

“This year’s desert locust outbreak, the negative impact of climate change including widespread flooding and the COVID-19 outbreak continue to drive rising food insecurity with more than 8 million people in need of food assistance. This number is expected to rise to more than 11 million people by January. It is absolutely imperative that escalating tensions and conflict do not prevent the delivery of humanitarian aid. The needs and safety of civilians, including refugees and displaced persons, must be prioritized.”

The IRC is working in Tigray to support 90,000 refugees in four camps with a range of services, including clean water, sanitation, primary healthcare and education. 

About the IRC

The International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises, helping to restore health, safety, education, economic wellbeing, and power to people devastated by conflict and disaster. Founded in 1933 at the call of Albert Einstein, the IRC is at work in over 40 countries and over 20 U.S. cities helping people to survive, reclaim control of their future, and strengthen their communities. Learn more at www.rescue.org and follow the IRC on Twitter & Facebook.