Omna Tigray: On Tigrayans Face Impending, “Mass Starvation” as U.S. and UN Pause Food Aid, Citing Widespread Theft of Humanitarian Aid

Despite the peace agreement between the Ethiopian and Tigrayan governments last November, the dire humanitarian situation in Tigray has reached a critical point, with Tigrayans facing the alarming threat of “mass starvation.” The United States and the United Nations have made the difficult decision to pause food aid to the region due to the widespread theft of humanitarian aid thought to be a part of a larger “country-wide diversion scheme” orchestrated by federal and local authorities. This unfortunate development exacerbates the suffering of innocent civilians and highlights the urgent need for international intervention.

According to a statement issued by USAID, the decision to pause food aid to Tigray was necessitated by the significant diversion of supplies. The theft of humanitarian aid intended for the most vulnerable populations has created an untenable situation, leaving countless Tigrayans without access to life-saving resources. This blatant disregard for the basic needs of the Tigrayan people demonstrates a concerning lack of accountability and undermines efforts to alleviate their suffering.

The Ethiopian government’s involvement in the widespread theft of humanitarian aid represents a grave violation of international humanitarian principles. It undermines the credibility of relief efforts in the region. The ongoing conflict has already resulted in immense human rights abuses and atrocities against the Tigrayan population. Now, with the pause of food aid, the situation has further deteriorated, pushing vulnerable individuals to the brink of starvation. The stolen supplies must be recovered and distributed to those in desperate need. Failure to take swift action will only exacerbate the crisis and contribute to the loss of innocent lives.

As the international community responds to this pressing humanitarian crisis, supporting measures that ensure effective and transparent aid distribution is crucial. Efforts must be made to hold the Ethiopian government accountable for its part in the theft of humanitarian aid, as well as the violation of international humanitarian laws.

The plight of Tigrayans demands urgent attention and intervention from the international community. Concerted efforts are required to address the immediate needs of the Tigrayan people, including the provision of emergency food aid, medical supplies, and essential services. Simultaneously, international bodies such as the United States and the United Nations must work closely with humanitarian organizations to develop robust mechanisms for accountability and ensure the proper distribution of aid.

The continued suffering of Tigrayans cannot be ignored. The international community must stand united in denouncing the Ethiopian government’s involvement in the theft. It is a moral imperative to provide immediate relief to those facing mass starvation and take decisive action to bring about lasting peace, justice, and accountability in Tigray.


Omna Tigray

Omna TigrayPress Release, July 14, 2023