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Peace Must Hold To Enable Us To Save Lives In Tigray, Says World Vision

World Vision welcomes the announcement by the government of Ethiopia of a unilateral ‘humanitarian ceasefire’ and calls on all sides in the conflict to promote peace and humanitarian access in Tigray following the latest military developments.

“Staff are currently hunkered down and assessing the situation on the ground in Tigray”, says Karmen Trajkov Till, acting National Director of World Vision in Ethiopia, “but they are eager to get back to work delivering vital aid and assistance to a region where children in particular are in great need.”

Tigray has been beset by months of conflict and drought which means that there are millions of people facing famine-like conditions, displaced and living in temporary shelter, and in need of urgent humanitarian assistance.

There are currently 5.2 million people in need of assistance. One million people internally displaced, and more than 63,000 people have fled to neighbouring Sudan.

“The ceasefire provides an opportunity to widen humanitarian access within the region and rapidly scale the delivery of assistance, if peace can be maintained”, Trajkov Till says. “We call on all parties to respect international humanitarian law, unfettered humanitarian access and protection of civilians.”

“Communications with World Vision staff are currently compromised, but we know our staff in Mekele are currently safe and eager to resume work providing food assistance, water and sanitation support and delivering child protection programmes that keep children safe from a huge range of threats”, says Trajkov Till.

World Vision has worked in Tigray for four decades and is currently targeting 1.5 million people in the region with a $50m response.

Andrew Morley, World Vision International President and CEO, said: “We urgently need to continue delivering life-saving assistance to children and their families in Tigray – but we can only do this if peace is secured. I pray this will happen without delay, for the sake of families who have been pushed to the very edge of survival because of this historic hunger crisis. World Vision and other agencies must be allowed to get back to the task of supporting those in greatest need, unhampered by security concerns.”

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To book an interview with Karmen Trajkov Till, acting National Director of World Vision in Ethiopia, contact: gabriel.thomas@worldvision.org.nz 021360098

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