GSTS Calls for Famine Declaration in Tigray

Mekelle:  6 December 2023 (Tigray Herald)

GSTS Calls for Famine Declaration in Tigray

In a correspondence issued on Thursday, the Global Society of Tigray Scholars and Professionals (GSTS) calls on the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (FDRE) to officially declare famine in Tigray and take decisive action to avert a catastrophic humanitarian crisis.

The Global Society of Tigray Scholars and Professionals expresses deep concern over the lack of decisive action from key stakeholders despite being well-informed about the dire situation in Tigray.

The Society stated that the denial by the federal government of hunger-related deaths adds another layer of urgency, demanding a more robust and coordinated response from the international community.

Last Saturday, Legesse Tulu, #Ethiopia Government Communication Service Minister, denied the existence of famine in the region in a public statement.

In its correspondence, GSTS commends the efforts of the Tigray Interim Administration (TIA) but urges a shift in focus towards humanitarian response over political conferences.

On Monday, Tigray Interim Administration President Getachew Reda called upon federal government and the international community including the UN agencies to provide aid for over 4.5 million people in Tigray facing a critical emergency situation.

GSTS emphasizes the urgency of the situation, pointing out that despite being well-aware of the scale and urgency of the humanitarian crisis, the response from the FDRE and international organizations has been “woefully inadequate”. The organization calls for the immediate discharge of responsibilities and mobilization of all necessary humanitarian responses without delay.

The correspondence underlines that the mass starvation and famine in Tigray are the result of an all-out war, a siege lasting more than three years, compounded by failed rains, and prior challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic and pest infestations.

The depletion of coping mechanisms, assets, savings, and reserves has left the people of Tigray in a vulnerable state, the society expressed.

GSTS highlights the urgency of the situation with reports of over 1,400 Tigrayans reported to have died from starvation since food aid suspension in early September 2023.

Redae Halefom, Head for Tigray Communication Affairs Bureau for the IRA, told the Deutsche Welle that over 900 people have died due to hunger since September 2023.

Warning against the potential evolution of a tragic chapter in history, the GSTS stressed the critical need for a swift response to the escalating humanitarian crisis in Tigray.

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