Save the Children called on Wednesday for access for humanitarian aid to continue in Ethiopia’s Amhara region where a state of emergency has been declared after a renewal in violence. Also on Wednesday, Reuters reported that Ethiopian National Defence Forces (ENDF) have pushed back Amhara fighters known as Fano out of two major towns in the Amhara region in its first major battlefield breakthrough since fighting erupted last week.
Save the Children’s Country Director for Ethiopia, Xavier Joubert, said the lives of families and children were being put at risk as the region faced an alarming escalation of conflict about nine months after a truce agreement ended two years of violence.
“The wounds from the recent war remain raw, and yet again, children’s lives hang in the balance. As a humanitarian organization, we call upon warring parties to prioritize the safety of civilians and allow humanitarian aid to reach those in need including 580,000 people in the region already displaced by previous conflict. We must shield vulnerable children from violence, displacement, hunger, and abuse and it is imperative that vulnerable families are granted safety and unimpeded access to essential humanitarian aid.”
Save the Children has been operating in Ethiopia for over 60 years. The organisation focuses on health, nutrition, water and sanitation, protection services, education and cash and in-kind distributions. In 2022, Save the Children reached about 7.6 million people including about 5.1 million children through life-saving food, water distribution, and treatment for malnutrition among other services.