United Nations agencies said the crisis in Ethiopia’s conflict-ravaged Tigray region had plunged it into famine. “This is going to get a lot worse,” a top aid official said.
Famine has afflicted at least 350,000 people in northern Ethiopia’s conflict-ravaged Tigray region, a starvation calamity bigger at the moment than anywhere else in the world, the United Nations and international aid groups said Thursday.
With their joint announcement, the humanitarian officials for the first time described the unfolding crisis in Tigray as a famine and specified the number of people suffering from it. They had warned for weeks of an impending disaster from the conflict in Ethiopia, the most populous country in the Horn of Africa.
“Alarming new data has today confirmed the magnitude of the hunger emergency gripping Tigray,” David Beasley, the executive director of the World Food Program, the anti-hunger agency of the United Nations, said in a statement.
Mark Lowcock, the top humanitarian emergency official at the United Nations, told a webcast meeting of aid officials and diplomats that the number of people affected by the famine was “higher than anywhere in the world” and was the worst in any country since a 2011 famine gripped neighboring Somalia.