ADDIS ABABA, June 12 (Xinhua) -- The overall situation in northern Ethiopia remains generally calm but unpredictable as humanitarian supplies continue to arrive in the conflict affected Tigray region, according to the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA).
The UNOCHA, in its latest northern Ethiopian humanitarian update report issued late Saturday, said humanitarian supplies continue to arrive in the Tigray region via the Semera-Abala-Mekelle road since the start of April.
Between April 1 and June 6, more than 65,500 metric tons (MT) of food have been brought into Mekelle, capital of Tigray region by the main food partners through 18 humanitarian convoys, the UNOCHA said.
According to the UNOCHA, of the more than 65,500 MT of food brought in and based on the reports received to date, at least 14,700 MT of food have been distributed to more than 907,000 people in the region as of June 1.
It further said humanitarian supplies have continued to be airlifted from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia's capital, to Mekelle. During the reporting week, approximately 11 MT of health (7.4 MT) and nutrition (3.6 MT) cargo were airlifted.
It, however, said the overall operating environment in Northern Ethiopia remains constrained mainly by the lack of essential services and functioning markets, as well as the inability to bring in sufficient supplies, fuel, and cash to Tigray, limited access to people in hard-to-reach areas, and limited presence of partners on the ground in some areas.
Figures from the UNOCHA show that more than 9 million people need food assistance in northern Ethiopia throughout 2022. It warned that the existing funding is far from sufficient to cover the humanitarian needs.
As Ethiopia's main planting season approaches, the UNOCHA said lack of fertilizers and seeds coupled with lack of veterinary vaccines and treatment drugs in Tigray and other affected areas could hinder the planting season.
Meanwhile, the UNOCHA said the ongoing drought affecting the Horn of Africa is expanding to northeast areas of the country and notably to Afar region, further aggravating the humanitarian situation in the region. ■