UAE sends food aid to Ethiopia's Tigray region

At least 200 tonnes of vital food supplies were flown to the troubled region

The UAE worked with the World Food Programme to send an aircraft carrying food supplies to the Tigrayan capital, Mekele. Wam
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The UAE, in co-operation with the World Food Programme, has sent an aircraft carrying vital food supplies to Mekele in the Tigray region of Ethiopia to support the humanitarian effort there.

At least 200 tonnes of food supplies were on the flight. This aims to alleviate the suffering of people there in light of the conflict and the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mohamed Al Rashidi, ambassador of the UAE to Ethiopia, said the Emirates is committed to supporting the humanitarian effort in Tigray.

Elena, 7, centre, lines up with other displaced Tigrayans to receive food at a centre for the internally displaced in Mekele, in the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia. Ben Curtis / AP Photo

Michael Dunford of the World Food Programme said the organisation welcomed the UAE initiative.

"Food supplies are currently running low in the region and the World Food Programme plans to deliver the vegetable oil from the UAE along with other food, fuel and humanitarian supplies to Tigray by road as soon as possible," he said.

"We appreciate this timely support from the UAE."

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation expressed the UAE's full solidarity with the Ethiopian people and renewed its call for a commitment to de-escalation and returning to dialogue for peace, stability and national unity.

Tens of thousands of people have fled Tigray since fighting started there in November. They have sought refuge across the border in Sudan, which provided a safe haven for hundreds of thousands of Ethiopians during the two decades of civil war that ended in 1990.

Updated: August 18, 2021, 6:38 PM