WHO says delivering vital humanitarian aid despite challenges in Ethiopia's conflict-hit Amhara region-Xinhua

WHO says delivering vital humanitarian aid despite challenges in Ethiopia's conflict-hit Amhara region

Source: Xinhua| 2023-11-25 23:22:00|Editor: huaxia

ADDIS ABABA, Nov. 25 (Xinhua) -- The World Health Organization (WHO) said it is delivering humanitarian assistance in Ethiopia's conflict-hit Amhara region despite insecurity-induced challenges.

The WHO said in a press statement issued late Friday that it is "living up to its commitments to reach the last mile delivery as over 95,000 vulnerable people can now access emergency supplies for cholera, malaria and conflict-related casualties' management in the Amhara region."

Noting that Ethiopia's second-most populous Amhara region has been facing multiple health and human-made emergencies since mid-2023, the WHO said the situation has made the delivery of procured supplies an ongoing challenging task to accomplish for the WHO team based in the regional capital, Bahir Dar.

"Unfortunately, the WHO is not the only organization delivering in such a challenging environment. As the lead agency of the global health cluster, a coordination mechanism mobilizing partners and harmonizing efforts for efficient use of available resources, the WHO was able to rally partners and resources to deliver the last mile in a coordinated manner in various locations of the region," it said.

"Not every truck makes it to its destination. Sometimes trucks are stopped for an undetermined period of time," the statement quoted Yewulsow Dellelle, operation support and logistics assistant for the WHO in Bahir Amhara, as saying.

"It leaves the WHO with limited options which are either flying the supplies at three times the cost or taking a time-consuming detour. All this has an impact on timely reaching our beneficiaries," Dellelle added.

In addition to drought, cholera, malaria and measles outbreaks, the Amhara region is presently facing an armed conflict causing casualties who eventually turn to health facilities to seek health services, according to the WHO.

Last week, the WHO said nearly 1.9 million people have received the cholera vaccine despite the challenging environment in the conflict-affected Amhara region.

The armed conflicts in different parts of the region are causing a spike in the number of internally displaced persons (IDPs). The region hosts more than 800,000 IDPs, of whom 12 percent are living in 40 collective sites.

In August this year, the Ethiopian House of People's Representatives enforced a six-month state of emergency rule in Amhara amid the prolonged conflicts between the military and local militiamen.