The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) made its first delivery of medical supplies Wednesday to Mekelle, the capital of Ethiopia’s Tigray region.
The aid is the first since last year because of conflicts in the Horn of Africa country that has been ongoing for more than a year.
“We’ve just delivered lifesaving medical supplies into Mekelle, Tigray, for the first time since September.
We work on organizing other flights carrying medical assistance in the coming days and weeks” ICRC said on Twitter.
The urgently needed supplies, including essential drugs, arrived in Mekelle and will be distributed to the region’s health facilities, according to the aid group.
“It is a huge relief that this first shipment is reaching hospitals,” said Apollo Barasa, health coordinator for the ICRC delegation in Ethiopia. “This assistance is a lifeline for thousands of people, and I can’t emphasize enough how crucial it is that these deliveries continue.”
The group said it intends to organize other flights with medical assistance in the coming days and weeks.
“In addition, it is planning to send a humanitarian convoy by road, as soon as security conditions allow,” according to the aid group. “At the same time, the ICRC will continue to provide medical assistance to health facilities in the Amhara and Afar regions, where provision of health care has also been severely impacted by the conflict.”
The ICRC urged parties to the conflict to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance to those who need it most.
The UN said Friday that humanitarian aid to the Tigray region is at its lowest since March because of the conflict.
“We are told that still no humanitarian supplies have entered Tigray through the Semera-Abala-Mekelle corridor since Dec. 14 of last year due to continued clashes in Abala, in the Afar province,” said Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
The war has been dragging on for more than a year.
Since November 2020, the war between Tigrayan and government forces has left the economy battered, devastated infrastructure and left thousands dead and many displaced.
A report by the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights accuses Tigray Special Forces, the Eritrean Defense Forces and the Ethiopian National Defense Force of destroying infrastructure.
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