On 30 September, the Government of Ethiopia announced that seven UN officials from three organizations (OCHA, UNICEF and OHCHR) had been designated ‘persona non grata’ and asked to leave the country. The UN Secretary General expressed shock in a statement, indicating the UN is “engaging with the Government of Ethiopia in the expectation that the concerned UN staff will be allowed to continue their important work.”
On 28 September, the UN Under Secretary General for humanitarian affairs told media that he “assumes famine has taken hold” in the Tigray region where a "de-facto blockade" and lack of fuel, cash and trucks has dramatically restricted aid deliveries. He urged the Ethiopian government to immediately allow access of aid trucks in the region, citing that the crisis “can be remedied by the act of government”. He added that 100 trucks a day of aid are needed to get to Tigray, but only 10% of this number had gained access in the past three months.
The corridor from Debark to Mai Tsebri where the Mai Aini and Adi Harush refugee camps are located is still not accessible due to insecurity, while fully loaded supply trucks cannot cross the bridge to Mai Tsebri from the Shire side until repair works are complete. Discussions on how to move food for distribution in the refugee camps are ongoing, as with the route through Amhara region closed, the food needs to be moved from WFP’s warehouse in Gondar, through Semera in Afar region into Mekelle and then to Shire and across the bridge to Mai Tsebri. Meanwhile, distribution of a partial monthly food ration began on 23 September with the limited food items remaining in warehouses on site.