The UN Security Council has been told that increasingly alarming accounts of hunger-related deaths are emerging from the Tigray region of Ethiopia.
The UN secretary general, Antonio Guterres, said life-saving humanitarian efforts were being crippled.
He again appealed to the Ethiopian government to allow the unhindered movement of desperately needed supplies to the region, after nearly a year of conflict.
Mr Guterres described Ethiopia’s decision last week to expel seven UN officials as disturbing and unprecedented.
Ethiopia’s envoy said his government was under no legal obligation to explain its actions.