WHO / NORTHERN ETHIOPIA CRISIS

12-Jan-2022 00:03:46
WHO Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, despite its best efforts, his Organization has been “blocked from sending medicine” into Ethiopia’s Tigray region adding that it is “so dreadful and unimaginable during this time of the 21st century, when a government is denying its own people, for more than a year, food and medicine and the rest to survive." WHO
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STORY: WHO / NORTHERN ETHIOPIA CRISIS
TRT: 3:46
SOURCE: WHO
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 12 JANUARY 2022, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
SHOTLIST
FILE – GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

1. Wide shot, WHO headquarters exterior

12 JANUARY 2022, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

2. Wide shot, WHO officials at press conference
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO):
"This region (Tigray) has been under siege for more than a year. Imagine a complete blockade of seven million people for more than a year, and there is no food, there is no medication, no medicine, no electricity, no telecom, no media. Nobody can report. And when there is no telephone, I think accessing families is difficult. No cash, no bank service. And imagine the impact of all this on health. Lack of medicine has direct impact and people are dying. But lack of food also kills. And on top of that, daily drone attacks [are] killing people."
4. Wide shot, WHO officials at press conference
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO):
"From our side, we have been trying - from WHO's side - trying to have access, to send drugs to Tigray and other affected areas by the conflict, Afar and Amhara regions. We were permitted to send medicines to Afar region and Amhara region, while we were not allowed to send to Tigray region. We have approached the Prime Minister's office. We have approached the foreign ministry. We have approached all relevant sectors, but no permission. So, there is a blatant measure which has been taken, that is blockade and siege for more than a year, seven million people. And since especially July, no medication was allowed from WHO. None whatsoever."
6. Wide shot, WHO officials at press conference
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO):
"But, as I speak now, we're deeply concerned from WHO's side. We have tried all our best, but we are blocked from sending medicines to Tigray, Ethiopia. And that's so dreadful and unimaginable during this time of the 21st century, when a government is denying its own people, for more than a year, food and medicine and the rest to survive."
8. Wide shot, WHO officials at press conference
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Mike Ryan, Executive Director, Health Emergencies Programme, World Health Organization (WHO):
"The issue is that there are people, real people living in a situation, whatever the cause of that situation, who have no access to the very basic life-saving interventions that we in the West, that we sitting here in Geneva would expect immediately, instantly, if we were to fall ill or sick. And from my perspective, this is an insult to our humanity, to allow a situation like this to continue, to allow no access, zero access. And Dr Tedros said in his speech at the last press conference that access is the life blood, the starting point for humanitarian intervention, and we simply do not have that access; access for our staff, access to the field, getting basic medical supplies in there. So, it's truly important that all parties involved in this find a solution to allow humanitarian workers, doctors and nurses to do their job."
10. Wide shot, WHO officials at press conference
STORYLINE
WHO Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, despite its best efforts, his Organization has been “blocked from sending medicine” into Ethiopia’s Tigray region adding that it is “so dreadful and unimaginable during this time of the 21st century, when a government is denying its own people, for more than a year, food and medicine and the rest to survive."

Speaking to reporters in Geneva today (12 Jan) Dr Tedros said Tigray has been “under siege for more than a year.” He said, “Imagine a complete blockade of seven million people for more than a year, and there is no food, there is no medication, no medicine, no electricity, no telecom, no media. Nobody can report. And when there is no telephone, I think accessing families is difficult. No cash, no bank service. And imagine the impact of all this on health. Lack of medicine has direct impact and people are dying. But lack of food also kills. And on top of that, daily drone attacks [are] killing people."

Dr Tedros said WHO has been trying to have access to send drugs to Tigray and other affected areas by the conflict, including Afar and Amhara regions. He said, “We were permitted to send medicines to Afar region and Amhara region, while we were not allowed to send to Tigray region. We have approached the Prime Minister's office. We have approached the foreign ministry. We have approached all relevant sectors, but no permission.”

The WHO chief said there was a “blatant measure which has been taken, that is blockade and siege for more than a year, seven million people. And since especially July, no medication was allowed from WHO. None whatsoever."

Dr Mike Ryan, Executive Director of WHO’s Health Emergencies Programme, said there are “real people living in a situation, whatever the cause of that situation, who have no access to the very basic life-saving interventions that we in the West, that we, sitting here in Geneva, would expect immediately, instantly, if we were to fall ill or sick.” He said this was an “insult to our humanity, to allow a situation like this to continue, to allow no access, zero access.”

Citing Dr Tedros, the WHO official said access is the “life blood, the starting point for humanitarian intervention, and we simply do not have that access; access for our staff, access to the field, getting basic medical supplies in there.” Dr Ryan stressed the importance that all parties involved in the conflict “find a solution to allow humanitarian workers, doctors and nurses to do their job."
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