The Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the United Nations has warned of an imminent famine in Ethiopia’s embattled Tigray region and the northern part of the country.
British Ambassador Barbara Woodward told reporters in New York on Tuesday that hundreds of thousands or more may die. She pointed out that the economy as well as crops and farms were destroyed.
“It is clear that food, farming tools and livestock are being destroyed. As a result, 350,000 people in Tigray are facing hunger on a scale never seen since then. Famine in Somalia,” Woodward said.
“We welcome discussions to support Africa-led solutions and work with regional initiatives to end this crisis.”
She pledged to provide 16.7 million pounds (23.6 million U.S. dollars) of British government assistance to Ethiopia.
Since the months-long political tension between the government of Ethiopian President Abiy Ahmed and the Tigray leader who once dominated the Ethiopian government broke out in November last year, no one knows how many civilians or people there are. The combatants were killed.
Eritrea, a long-time enemy of Tigray, joined forces with neighboring Ethiopia in the conflict.
“Although the violence continues, it not only left the Tigray people suffering from desperate hunger this year, it will also do so next year. Millions of lives are hanging in the balance.
“The solution is clear-ceasefire, humanitarian access and political dialogue… If there is no ceasefire, this could turn into a man-made famine,” Woodward warned.