Tigray: Humanitarian Aid

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered on 20th July 2021.

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Photo of Andrew Mitchell Andrew Mitchell Conservative, Sutton Coldfield

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions his Department has had with the Eritrean Government on using their ports for humanitarian supplies to be transported to Tigray in Ethiopia.

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. Ensuring assistance gets to those who need it most remains our priority in Tigray. We continue to explore all options with partners to expand humanitarian access by both air and land. We have not discussed access for humanitarian supplies with the Government of Eritrea given the destabilising role their forces continue to play in the conflict . We are focussed on securing the complete, immediate and verifiable withdrawal of all Eritrean troops from Tigray in order to help humanitarian relief efforts.

On 14 June I [Minister Duddridge] 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. We continue to urge all parties to the conflict to protect civilians and respect international humanitarian law.

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