UN humanitarian chief makes his first official visit a trip to Ethiopia

29 July 2021

The United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Martin Griffiths, today started a six-day mission to the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.

“It was important to me that I carry out my first official mission as the UN’s humanitarian chief to Ethiopia,” said Mr. Griffiths. “Humanitarian needs in the country have increased this year as a result of the armed conflicts in Tigray and Benishangul-Gumuz, intercommunal violence in parts of Afar, Somali and SNNP regions, and drought in Somali, Oromia and Afar regions.

“These shocks came on top of existing challenges associated with floods, the desert locust infestation, chronic food insecurity and the COVID-19 pandemic. Millions of vulnerable people are now struggling and in need of help.”

During the visit, Mr. Griffiths is expected to meet with high-level Government officials and representatives of the humanitarian and donor communities.

He plans to travel to the Tigray region to hear from civilians affected by the conflict and to witness first-hand the challenges humanitarian workers face. An estimated 5.2 million people (about 90 per cent of the population) need humanitarian assistance in the Tigray region.

Mr. Griffiths also plans to meet with Amhara regional authorities in Bahir Dar city.

“The humanitarian community is committed to working with the Government and the people of Ethiopia to respond to this crisis,” said Mr. Griffiths. “This visit is an opportunity to discuss with the Government of Ethiopia’s officials and partners how the United Nations and its humanitarian partners can best serve the people of Ethiopia. I look forward to constructive discussions on scaling up the humanitarian response across the country.”

More than 9 UN agencies, along with international and national non-governmental organizations and Government agencies, are responding to the humanitarian needs in Ethiopia

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