U.S. Announces Additional Humanitarian Assistance for the Tigray Crisis Response

03/18/2021 02:04 PM EDT

Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of State

The United States is providing an additional nearly $52 million in assistance to respond to the humanitarian crisis in Ethiopia’s Tigray region. The United States has provided a total of nearly $153 million in humanitarian assistance since the crisis began.

This assistance from the American people will enable our international humanitarian partners to help some of the estimated 4.5 million people in need in Tigray and nearly 62,000 refugees who have fled to Sudan. It will allow our partners to provide lifesaving protection, shelter, essential health care, emergency food aid, water, sanitation, and hygiene services. This funding will also help our partners re-establish contact between family members who have been separated due to the conflict. U.S. Agency for International Development’s Disaster Assistance Response Team remains deployed in support of U.S. humanitarian response efforts.

We remain gravely concerned about the worsening humanitarian crisis in Tigray. While we acknowledge public commitments and progress made by the Government of Ethiopia on increasing humanitarian access, the international community must see follow-through on all commitments, including lifting restrictions on the import and use of communications equipment by humanitarian organizations and providing extended visas for international humanitarian workers. Immediate, full, safe, and unhindered access for humanitarian organizations and workers is essential to provide timely, needs-based assistance to those affected by the conflict.

The humanitarian situation will continue to worsen without a political solution. A cessation of hostilities, the immediate withdrawal of Eritrean forces, and an end to the Ethiopian government’s deployment of Amhara regional forces in Tigray are essential first steps. There needs to be accountability for all those responsible for human rights abuses and atrocities, whether they be in the Ethiopian National Defense Forces, Tigray People’s Liberation Front forces, Eritrea Defense Forces, or Amhara regional forces. The United States and the international community are monitoring the situation closely to ensure that the Government of Ethiopia honors its public commitments to permit both independent international and domestic investigations of the abuses and hold the responsible parties accountable.

We welcome the contributions of other donors toward this crisis response and urge still others to generously support the immediate humanitarian needs created by the crisis in the Tigray region.