Ethiopia on Wednesday said scores of international humanitarian agencies were given access to Tigray, Ethiopia’s northernmost region, where a military operation against rebels has left millions in need of emergency assistance.

“More than 135 personnel of bilateral and multilateral aid organizations have been provided clearance to travel and undertake assistance work in the region,” said a press release issued by the Prime Minister’s Office.

“There are now 29 international organizations working on the ground under the Emergency Coordinating Committee (ECC) which are also members of the Incident Command Post. The Incidence Command Post serves as a focal point for the ECC to ensure that humanitarian aid reaches the people in need through the established structures,” it added.

“Unlike the prevailing and inaccurate narrative that purports vast parts of the region are inaccessible, the federal government in partnership with international and local organizations has made significant progress in delivering humanitarian assistance to care for our citizens in Tigray.

“As of today, 3.1 million people have benefited from the humanitarian aid distributed in 34 districts out of 36 in the region. The government’s contribution to humanitarian assistance is maintained at 70% while the international partners’ share of assistance is 30%.”

It further said the delivery of non-food items was also underway with the support of 10 international NGOs, and to ensure effective delivery and response, 10 clusters were established based on international standards.

On Nov. 3, 2020, the now-outlawed Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and its special forces attacked the Northern Command of the Ethiopian National Defense Forces, killing soldiers and looting military hardware.

The following day, the Horn of Africa country launched what has been dubbed as a large-scale law enforcement operation in Tigray in which the TPLF was largely defeated and some of its top leaders and fighters were either neutralized or captured.

Although the prime minister declared that the military operation was over on Nov. 28, there have been sporadic clashes between the government forces and fighters loyal to TPLF.

More than 60,000 Ethiopians fled the fighting to neighboring Sudan while international organizations have been calling for scaled-up humanitarian assistance in the region for civilians affected by the conflict.

Hundreds of thousands of civilians have also been reported to have become internally displaced and are in dire need of emergency assistance.

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