Addis Ababa, May 11, 2021 (FBC) -Demeke Mekonnen, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia received at his office and held discussions today with Philippe Beauverd, Interim Head of Delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross to Ethiopia.
Demeke appreciated ICRC for always being there on the ground to help civilians in Ethiopia during conflicts and natural disasters, such as drought and pandemics.
Beauverd, on his part, thanked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other pertinent government bodies for their dedication in facilitating support to ICRC’s various engagements in Ethiopia.
He briefed the Deputy Prime Minister about the plans to significantly increase the budget of the organization to its activities in Ethiopia and related his experience in visiting prisoners and displaced people in some parts of the country.
He further elaborated the ongoing supports that the organization is extending to internally displaced people in various regional states in Ethiopia, particularly in Oromia, Benishangul Gumuz, and Tigray.
He said he was satisfied with what ICRC has achieved in Tigray so far and explained some of the challenges encountered on the ground.
The Deputy Prime Minister said the government has continued to extend support to people in the region, mentioning the 2.7 million people who have received aid in the second round of humanitarian support.
Thanking reliable partners, such as the ICRC, he said the government is ready to ease up observed challenges on the ground, particularly in Tigray.
He said access to humanitarian support in the region showed significant improvement, although accessing some pocket areas may require a military escort.
Demeke said coordination between the civilian and military entities would be essential to achieve better results.
ICRC has been providing humanitarian support for Ethiopia ever since it had the first footprint in the country in 1977, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.