Tigray: Humanitarian Aid

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered on 13th July 2021.

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Photo of Barry Sheerman Barry Sheerman Labour/Co-operative, Huddersfield

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the findings in the report on the ongoing conflict in Tigray by the acting humanitarian aid chief of the UN, entitled Tigray region humanitarian update, published on 24 June 2021.

Photo of James Duddridge James Duddridge Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

The UK Government is deeply concerned about the grave humanitarian situation in Ethiopia and shares the concerns outlined in the report on 24 June by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. The UK has led calls for a humanitarian ceasefire, joined by all G7 nations and the EU, along with a growing number of other nations. The G7 Summit Communique of 13 June also called for an immediate cessation of hostilities and unimpeded humanitarian access. The Government of Ethiopia has since announced a unilateral humanitarian ceasefire in Tigray. We welcome this but continue to call for all parties to cease fighting, grant urgently needed unfettered humanitarian access to Tigray, respect international humanitarian law and prevent their forces from hindering the critical work of the UN and NGOs.

On 14 June I announced that the UK will allocate a further £16.7 million to the crisis in Tigray. This will support civil-military coordination to help aid get to those in need and address famine risk through the provision of healthcare, sanitation, and nutritional support. This allocation is on top of the existing £27 million in 2020-21 already directed to the response, and an additional £4 million allocated to support nutrition and vaccinations in Tigray. This brings UK total funding to support response to the crisis to £47.7 million. As mentioned in my statement of 23 June, we urge all parties to the conflict to protect civilians and respect international humanitarian law.

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