WFP suspends distribution of food aid

World Food Programme | Организация Объединенных Наций

The World Food Programme (WFP) has suspended distribution of food aid in two northern Ethiopian towns after gunmen looted its warehouses.

Looters from rebel Tigrayan forces reportedly held aid staff at gunpoint in the town of Kombolcha.

The United Nations said they stole large quantities of essential food supplies – including some for malnourished children.

Northern Ethiopia is facing mass starvation amid an ongoing civil war between Tigrayan and government forces.

After more than a year of fighting, more than nine million people are said to be in need of critical food supplies in the Tigray, Amhara and Afar regions.

A UN spokesman which runs the WFP, said its staff there had faced “extreme intimidation” during days of looting in the industrial hub of Kombolcha in Amhara.

He added: “Such harassment of humanitarian staff by armed forces is unacceptable. It undermines the ability of the United Nations and all of our humanitarian partners to deliver assistance when it is most needed.”

The spokesman also accused military personnel of commandeering three WFP humanitarian trucks and using them for their own purposes.

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