‘Alarming’ malnutrition in Ethiopia’s war-hit Tigray: MSF | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, May 06, 2021 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:04 AM, May 06, 2021

‘Alarming’ malnutrition in Ethiopia’s war-hit Tigray: MSF

Doctors Without Borders yesterday described "alarming" malnutrition in parts of Ethiopia's war-hit Tigray region and said the situation was likely to worsen with the coming rainy season.

The medical charity, known by its French initials MSF, said residents were struggling to access food distribution points and lamented that the aid response "hardly ever extends beyond larger towns" to Tigray's rural areas.

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"MSF teams are observing alarming levels of malnutrition among children and pregnant and breastfeeding mothers screened at mobile clinics across several locations throughout the Northwest region of Tigray," Karline Kleijer, head of MSF's emergency support department, said in a statement.

Among 309 children screened at remote clinics in recent weeks, 26.6 percent were malnourished and six percent were severely acutely malnourished, Kleijer said, adding the situation "warrants immediate action."

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed sent troops into Tigray in November to detain and disarm leaders of the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), the regional ruling party that once dominated national politics.

He said the move came in response to TPLF attacks on army camps and that fighting would be over quickly.

But as the six-month-old war drags on, world leaders are increasingly concerned about what US Secretary of State Antony Blinken last month called an impending humanitarian "disaster."

Tigray's North Western zone includes the town of Shire which is housing tens of thousands of displaced Tigrayans, many kicked off land in western Tigray in what Blinken has described as "ethnic cleansing."


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