GENEVA / ETHIOPIA FOOD AID

05-Oct-2021 00:03:22
The first round of food distributions to people in Afar and Amhara regions impacted by the spread of the conflict in northern Ethiopia has been completed, the World Food Programme (WFP) said on Tuesday. UNTV CH
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STORY: GENEVA / ETHIOPIA FOOD AID
TRT: 3:22
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 05 OCTOBER 2021, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
SHOTLIST
05 OCTOBER 2021, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

1. Wide shot, Palais des Nations exterior
2. Wide shot, speakers and participants inside briefing room
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Tomson Piri, spokesperson, World Food Programme (WFP):
“The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has completed its first round of food distributions to people impacted by the spread of conflict into Afar and Amhara regions. However, a lack of supplies due to various impediments to the movement of humanitarian aid still sees distributions in Tigray lagging behind.”
4. Med shot, participants taking notes.
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Tomson Piri, spokesperson, World Food Programme (WFP):
“Anecdotal reports from all three regions suggest that food insecurity is on the rise as teams struggled to get enough food assistance into the region, the situation is increasingly becoming dire.”
6. Med shot, panellist in briefing room and speaker on screen.
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Tomson Piri, spokesperson, World Food Programme (WFP):
“It is absolutely vital that we have the full cooperation and support of all parties to the conflict so that we can reach all affected populations with urgently needed food assistance before we have a humanitarian catastrophe on our hands across all of Northern Ethiopia.”
8. Wide shot, briefing room
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Tomson Piri, spokesperson, World Food Programme (WFP):
“We have had positive news and in recent weeks, security issues have been largely overcome and five convoys, 171 trucks, have entered the region between five and the 29 of September. Additionally, the vast majority of commercial trucks have not been able to return from Tigray, which has been one of the major impediments to the delivery of cargo as we have struggled to convene convoys.”
10. Med shot, participant at press briefing
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Tomson Piri, spokesperson, World Food Programme (WFP):
“The combined needs of the humanitarian sector mean that 100 trucks need  to  be  arriving  daily  to  provide  food  baskets  of cereals, pulses and vegetable oil to 210,000 people a day.”
12. Med shot, participant at press briefing
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Tomson Piri, spokesperson, World Food Programme (WFP):
“Fuel stocks in Tigray are running critically low. And fuel is vital to keep operations running and facilitating the movement of humanitarian aid into and across the region. We need 200,000 litres of fuel entering Tigray each week to keep operations running.”
14. Wide shot, participants attending the conference
15. SOUNDBITE (English) Tomson Piri, spokesperson, World Food Programme (WFP):
“We need 184 million to continue to scale up the response in northern Ethiopia, whilst for all its activities in the country, WFP has a funding shortfall of 426 million dollars.”
16. Wide shot, inside press briefing room, showing speakers and participants
17. SOUNDBITE (English) Tomson Piri, spokesperson, World Food Programme (WFP):
“Up to 7 million people across the three regions now - Tigray, Amhara and Afar - are now in dire need of food assistance. So, you have about 5.2 million people in Tigray and the rest are in Afar and Amhara. In terms of our plan, WFP aims to reach almost 3.5 million people across the three regions: 2.7 million in Tigray, 210,000 in Amhara and up to 540,000 in Afar in the next round of distribution.”
18. Med shot, participant at briefing
19. Wide shot, participants at briefing
STORYLINE
The first round of food distributions to people in Afar and Amhara regions impacted by the spread of the conflict in northern Ethiopia has been completed, the World Food Programme (WFP) said on Tuesday.

However, distributions of supplies into Tigray are lagging behind due to various impediments to the movement of humanitarian aid, the UN agency warned.

“It is absolutely vital that we have the full cooperation and support of all parties to the conflict so that we can reach all affected populations with urgently needed food assistance before we have a humanitarian catastrophe on our hands across all of northern Ethiopia,” said Tomson Phiri, WFP spokesperson.

“Up to seven million people across the three regions - Tigray, Amhara and Afar - are now in dire need of food assistance; 5.2 million people in Tigray and the rest are in Afar and in Amhara,” he told journalists in Geneva. In Afar and Amhara regions over 840,000 people (700,000 in Amhara and 140,000 in Afar) have been displaced due to the current conflict, according to the government estimates.

Since 15 August, WFP has delivered food to almost 300,000 people in Amhara and Afar, while nearly 2.5 million people have been reached with food assistance in the northwest and parts of southern Tigray, Phiri said, noting that WFP aims to reach almost 3.5 million people across all three regions - 2.7 million in Tigray, 210,000 in Amhara and up to 540,000 in Afar - in the next round of distributions.

Phiri pointed out that in June the Integrated Phase Classification (IPC) - which analyses the severity of food insecurity - estimated that in Tigray up to 400,000 people would be facing famine-like conditions by now. “Anecdotal reports from all three regions suggest that food insecurity is on the rise,” he said. The food pipeline in Tigray remains hand to mouth, he said, with a multitude of issues affecting the free movement of convoys.

However, according to the WFP spokesperson, there has been positive news: “in recent weeks security issues have been largely overcome. Five convoys, 171 trucks entered Tigray between 5-29 September” he said. These carried a combined total of 6,150 metric tons of food and nutrition supplies. This is enough to feed more than 360,000 people for one month. Despite these recent convoys, only 11 per cent of the humanitarian aid needed has entered the region.

Phiri told reporters that one of the major impediments to the delivery of cargo was that a vast majority of commercial trucks have not been able to return from Tigray. However, he said that WFP has been continuing to work with commercial transporters to overcome any issues deterring the trucks from leaving. He said more than 90 commercial trucks have exited Tigray recently and are now available for the movement of humanitarian aid into the region.

But he reiterated that the combined needs of the humanitarian sector require “100 trucks to be arriving daily to provide food baskets of cereals pulses and vegetable oil to 210,000 people a day”. Phiri also emphasized that while WFP has been successful in enabling 90 trucks to exit Tigray, “fuel stocks are running critically low”. Pointing out that fuel is “vital to keep operations running and facilitating the movement of humanitarian aid into and across the region,” he stressed that WFP needs ”200,000 litres of fuel entering Tigray each week to keep operations running.”

Across Ethiopia, WFP said it aims to reach 11.9 million people in 2021 with food, nutrition and cash support and delivering activities to boost communities’ self-reliance and food security. However, WFP continues to face challenges in terms of resources, the spokesperson said. “We need 184 million to continue to scale up its response in northern Ethiopia. For all activities in the country, WFP has a funding shortfall of 426 million dollar.” Phiri appealed for additional funding and increased and sustained access to allow WFP to provide assistance in a timely manner.
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