The World Food Programme says a convoy of 50 trucks have arrived in Mekelle, the Tigray capital, on Monday, with 900 metric tons of food as well as other emergency supplies.
Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said this while briefing correspondents at the UN headquarters in New York, on Monday.
He said :“WFP noted that double this number of trucks needs to be moving in every day to meet the vast humanitarian needs in the region.
“With almost four million people in need of emergency food assistance in Tigray, WFP requires transporting more than 10,000 metric tons of food and 150,000 litres of fuel every week on behalf of the humanitarian sector.
“This was the first humanitarian convoy to reach Tigray since WFP re-started operations in the Northwest on July 2 following fighting. Since then, it has provided 135,000 people with emergency food.’’
Across Ethiopia, he said, WFP aimed to reach 11.9 million people in 2021 with food, nutrition, cash support and activities to boost communities’ self-reliance and capacity to be food secure.
Meanwhile, Haq quotes the Secretary-General as saying that new, tragic data has informed that between 720 and 811 million people in the world faced hunger in 2020 – as many as 161 million more than in 2019.
“He says that addressing hunger and malnutrition cannot be done in isolation of other global challenges and as we recognised through the 2030 Agenda, they are interconnected.
“It is time to keep our promise. In a world of plenty, we have no excuse for billions of people to lack access to a healthy diet. This is unacceptable, the Secretary-General says.’’
According to him, that is why the secretary-general is convening a global Food Systems Summit in September.
“We must come together to urgently make a change”, he said, adding that the upcoming pre-Summit in Rome at the end of this month will help us define the scope of our ambition and work out how we must address hunger, the climate emergency, incredible inequality and conflict, by transforming our food systems.
On COVID-19 in Latin America, the official said Honduras received nearly 190,000 vaccine doses at the weekend.
“With this shipment, the country has received a total of over two million vaccine doses, which amounts to nearly 55 per cent of the total number of vaccines committed through COVAX and will cover 20 per cent of the country’s population.”
On Sunday, Haq said Bolivia also received over a million doses donated by the U.S. Government through the COVAX Facility.
“Bolivia is one of 14 countries in the region receiving vaccines donated by the United States through COVAX and with this shipment; the country has now received a total of 1.4 million doses through COVAX.
“Our team there worked with the governments of Bolivia and the U.S. on the logistical arrangements for the safe arrival of the vaccines,’’ he said. (NAN)