The positive development of increased flow of humanitarian aid into the Tigray region continued into the month of June. On 11 June, the largest humanitarian convoy to date of 308 trucks arrived in Tigray with enough food aid to meet the needs of 800,000 people, according to WFP. As part of the same convoy, UNHCR transported a fuel tanker with 20,000 liters of diesel. The impact of the past month’s steady increase of humanitarian supplies into Northern Ethiopia is also noticeable with more than 900,000 people having received food aid since 1 June in the Afar, Amhara and Tigray Regions.
On 14 June, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia announced for the first time that his government is working on negotiations to end the conflict with the TPLF. During an address to the Ethiopian Parliament, the Prime Minister announced that a committee has been established to lead the negotiations. The committee will be headed by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, and a deadline of 15 days has been set to work out the details of agendas for the negotiations. In an open letter by the President of the Tigray region to the African Union, and leadership of Kenya, Tanzania, and United Arab Emirates, they indicated their preparedness for peace negotiations.
The humanitarian situation across northern Ethiopia continues to seriously impact refugees, the internally displaced and host communities. Civilians have endured over eighteen months of conflict with extremely limited basic services and assistance available, leading to a significant escalation in humanitarian needs with ongoing new displacements. The security situation remains volatile, affecting civilians and constraining humanitarian actors on the ground, despite the announcement of a humanitarian truce.
On 20 June, the UNHCR Representative in Ethiopia met with the visiting ECHO Commissioner, along with the RC/HC, Regional Humanitarian Coordinator (RHC), and the heads of the World Bank, UNICEF, OCHA and ICRC. During the dinner hosted by the EU Ambassador, the Commissioner stressed that the EU will continue to advocate for full and unhindered access to the Tigray region. During the visit, the ECHO Commissioner highlighted the need for additional resources and efforts on resilience, in drought affected areas including on the need to spend less resources on humanitarian activities and more on development interventions.
On 21 June, the UNHCR Principal Situation Coordinator and the humanitarian community also met with the ECHO Commissioner and his delegation in Mekelle, Tigray. The delegation also met with authorities in Tigray, and the management of Ayader Referral Hospital. Humanitarian partners seized the opportunity to advocate for full humanitarian access, resumption of banking and telecommunication services, more fuel and cash access in Tigray, and additional support for agriculture and consideration for persons with disabilities.