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Published On: Wed, Jan 31st, 2024

400 Ethiopians Have Died of Starvation Says Ethiopia’s Ombudsman

The Ethiopia’s national ombudsman said on Tuesday in Tigray and Amhara regions that in recent months over 400 people have died of starvation, a rare admission of hunger-related deaths by a federal body.

Local officials have previously reported starvation deaths in their districts, but Ethiopia’s federal government has insisted these reports are “completely wrong”.

Ethiopia’s ombudsman office sent experts to the regions, which are gripped by drought and still reeling from a devastating civil war that officially ended 14 months ago, adding that 351 people have died of hunger in Tigray in the past six months, with 44 more deaths in Amhara.

According to the memo by the Tigray Food Cluster, a group of aid agencies co-chaired by the U.N.’s World Food Program and Ethiopian officials said that just 14% of 3.2 million people targeted for food aid by humanitarian agencies in Tigray this month had received it by Jan. 21.

An aid memo seen by The Associated Press, only a small fraction of needy people in Tigray are receiving food aid, more than one month after aid agencies resumed deliveries of grain following a lengthy pause over theft.

Ethiopia’s federal government denies there is a large hunger crisis, when Tigray’s leader, Getachew Reda, raised the alarm over looming mass starvation deaths last month, a federal government spokesperson dismissed the reports as “inaccurate” and accused him of “politicizing the crisis.”

Around 20.1 million people across Ethiopia need humanitarian food due to drought, conflict and a tanking economy.

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