GENEVA / TIGRAY UPDATE

13-Jul-2021 00:02:19
UN humanitarians appealed on Tuesday for better access to Ethiopia’s embattled Tigray region, after the first aid trucks in days to reach the local capital, Mekelle, encountered multiple, rigorous checks which delayed their arrival significantly. UNTV CH
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STORY: GENEVA / TIGRAY UPDATE
TRT: 2:19
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 13 JULY 2021, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
SHOTLIST
13 JULY 2021, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

1. Wide shot, Palais des Nations exterior
2. Wide shot, conference room at UN Geneva, TV camera on tripod in centre, dais and host/participants to rear and to sides
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Tomson Phiri, spokesperson, World Food Programme (WFP):
“The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) convoy of 50 trucks arrived in the Tigrayan capital of Mekelle Monday with 900 metric tonnes of food as well as other emergency supplies. It was the first humanitarian convoy to reach Tigray since WFP re-started operations in the northwest on 02 July following fighting.”
4. Med shot, technician, masked, wearing white coat and checking mobile phone, partly obscured by conference microphones
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Tomson Phiri, spokesperson, World Food Programme (WFP):
“What is important here is to note is that these convoys are going through rigorous checks. It should not be like that. We need to send these convoys every day from now on so that we are able to meet demand. We therefore appeal for quicker and smoother passage into the region as soon as possible.”
6. Med shot, participants seated behind laptops, masked, interpreters’ booths to rear
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Tomson Phiri, spokesperson, World Food Programme (WFP):
“Of the 50 trucks, 29 truckloads transported food commodities comprising of wheat, split peas and vegetable oil, enough to cover the most pressing urgent food needs of 200,000 people for a week. This is not enough.”
8. Med shot, participants seated behind laptops, masked, dais with host and UN logo backdrop to rear
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Tomson Phiri, spokesperson, World Food Programme (WFP):
“We need 100 trucks to be moving on any given day for half the time if we are to reverse the catastrophic humanitarian situation in the region.”
10. Wide shot, big screen TV showing remote participant and host seated at dais, UN logo backdrop to rear
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Christian Lindmeier, spokesperson, World Health Organization (WHO):
“Most health facilities are not functional at the moment and first-hand accounts that we just received this morning tell us that medical equipment and supplies were removed or destroyed in almost all health facilities in the region.”
12. Wide shot, big screen TV showing remote participant and host seated at podium, UN logo backdrop to rear
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Christian Lindmeier, spokesperson, World Health Organization (WHO):
“With our limited remaining financial resources, WHO is procuring vitally needed supplies worth 1.9 million USD for malaria, cholera and nutrition. While this is only a fraction of what’s needed, these will be critical for local authorities and partners to deliver assistance.”
14. Wide shot, press conference room, TV camera on tripod in centre, dais and host/participants to rear and to sides.
15. Wide shot, press conference room at UN Geneva, TV camera on tripod in centre next to arc light, participants to the sides
16. Wide shot, host seated and masked in front of UN backdrop, arranging papers
STORYLINE
UN humanitarians appealed on Tuesday for better access to Ethiopia’s embattled Tigray region, after the first aid trucks in days to reach the local capital, Mekelle, encountered multiple, rigorous checks which delayed their arrival significantly.

“The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) convoy of 50 trucks arrived in the Tigrayan capital of Mekelle Monday with 900 metric tonnes of food as well as other emergency supplies,” said Tomson Phiri, spokesperson for the World Food Programme (WFP).

“It was the first humanitarian convoy to reach Tigray since WFP re-started operations in the northwest on 02 July following fighting…Of the 50 trucks, 29 truckloads transported food commodities comprising of wheat, split peas and vegetable oil, enough to cover the most pressing urgent food needs of 200,000 people for a week. This is not enough.”

Unobstructed aid deliveries are crucial in the northern Ethiopian region where four million people need emergency food assistance after more than eight months of conflict between regional and central government forces, the WFP spokesperson explained.

“What is important here is to note is that these convoys are going through rigorous checks,” Phiri said. “It should not be like that. We need to send these convoys every day from now on so that we are able to meet demand. We therefore appeal for quicker and smoother passage into the region as soon as possible.”

According to WFP the aid convoy took four days to travel from Semera in the northeast to Mekelle, a distance of 445 kilometres. Drivers had to stop at 10 checkpoints where at each and every stop, the humanitarian cargo was rigorously checked, Mr. Phiri said.

Phiri said, “We need 100 trucks to be moving on any given day for half the time if we are to reverse the catastrophic humanitarian situation in the region.” He noted that WFP needs 176 million USD to continue to scale up its response in Tigray to save lives and livelihoods until the end of the year.

Latest reports from Tigray on Tuesday also indicate that healthcare provision is non-existent in many areas, the World Health Organization (WHO) said.

“Most health facilities are not functioning at the moment and first-hand accounts that we just received this morning tell us that medical equipment and supplies were removed or destroyed in almost all health facilities in the region,” said spokesperson Christian Lindmeier.

Despite the challenges of access, the UN agency has allocated 1.9 million USD for malaria, cholera and nutrition treatments. “While this is only a fraction of what’s needed, these will be critical for local authorities and partners to deliver assistance.” Lindmeier insisted.

In June, WHO warned that conflict between Ethiopian Government troops and those loyal to the dominant regional force, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), had left hospitals barely functioning, people displaced and famine looming.

The agency also underlined the serious danger of communicable and vaccine-preventable diseases spreading owing to a lack of food, clean water, safe shelter and access to health care.
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