One hundred trucks of food and medicines a day are needed in Ethiopia’s northern region of Tigray to save lives, the UN’s emergency relief co-ordinator says.
Speaking in Geneva on his return from Ethiopia, Martin Griffiths said a humanitarian ceasefire was a glaring necessity in order to allow aid deliveries into the warring region.
The UN estimates that 5.2 million people, or 90% of Tigray’s population, are in need.
Mr Griffiths said he had seen hospitals looted and destroyed in Tigray, and families traumatised by violence.
There are catastrophic food shortages, famine is a real threat.
The Ethiopian government says it is in favour of the UN plan, but Tigray’s rebels are expanding into neighbouring Amhara.
On Thursday, Tigrayan forces took control of the town of Lalibela, a UN World Heritage site in Amhara.
Mr Griffiths, while stressing the UN’s neutrality in humanitarian crises, backed the US’s call for the rebels to leave Amhara, saying that the best way to ensure the survival of the people of Tigray was to stop the conflict.