THE AFRICA BAZAAR STAFF
March 1, 2021
In its effort to help quell the latest crisis in Ethiopia, the Biden-Harris administration on Monday said it has sent a Disaster Assistance Response Team through its U.S. Agency for International Development to control and alleviate the surging humanitarian needs in the nation stemming from the conflict in the Tigray region.
The USAID’s DART team, which includes disaster experts who will assess the situation, identify priority needs to scale up assistance, and work with partners to provide urgently needed assistance to communities affected by the conflict, will lead the America’s humanitarian response.
Ethiopia’s recent civil tensions between the government and the regional government of Tigray have progressed rapidly in the past four months from what was initially considered a minor dissension to now verging on a major civil war, with infighting between armed groups, and hundreds of thousands people displaced and more than four million people are in need of food assistance.
As the conflict surges, the USAID quickly reworked its programs with partners on the ground in Ethiopia and in the region to provide life-saving assistance to the people of Tigray that are in need. However, getting access to everyone remains a major challenge due to lack of access from the ongoing crisis. An estimated 80 percent of Tigray remains cut off from help, the agency said.
The U.S. is currently the biggest humanitarian donor in Ethiopia, providing more than $652 million last year in humanitarian assistance to respond to acute food needs, conflict-driven displacement, flooding, a desert locust infestation, and the COVID-19 pandemic.