The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) welcomes the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) decision to resume food assistance across Ethiopia. EHRC further welcomes the United Nation’s World Food Programme (WFP) announcement that it was restarting food assistance after a thorough review of its operations.
EHRC has been monitoring the impact of the suspension of food assistance since March 2023 in Tigray region and nationwide since June 2023, and through its advocacy work and public reports, has been calling for the swift completion of ongoing efforts of coordination, resource mobilization, and related administrative measures to allow for the immediate resumption of nutritionally adequate food assistance to the most vulnerable, including internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees, particularly children under the age of five years, who were at risk of malnutrition-related and preventable deaths.
EHRC’s Annual Ethiopia Human Rights Situation Report covering the period between June 2022 and June 2023 underscored the particularly vulnerable situation of women, children, persons with disabilities, and the elderly who are living in displacement settings and called on all actors to exert all efforts to enable the immediate resumption of food aid and humanitarian assistance.
Rakeb Messele, Deputy Chief Commissioner of EHRC, said, “The decision to commit to a one-year trial period of the nationwide resumption of food assistance in Ethiopia is one that will contribute significantly to relieving the vast humanitarian need.” The Deputy Chief Commissioner also called on further steps by stakeholders to ensure that measures taken ensure timely and adequate access to the most vulnerable.