I hope this letter finds you well. I am writing to express my deep concern regarding the recent decision to pause all USAID & World Food Program (WFP) supported food assistance in the Tigray region of Ethiopia. The suspension of food aid jeopardizes the lives of millions facing acute food insecurity in Tigray. We must address the immediate humanitarian crisis by prioritizing the resumption of food aid distribution to alleviate the suffering of innocent civilians.
The conflict in the Tigray region over the past two years has been catastrophic, characterized by organized massacres, systematic sexual violence, and indiscriminate bombings. This deadly war has displaced millions and destroyed critical infrastructure, leaving 98% of the population in dire need of humanitarian assistance. Denying food aid to over 5.4 million people in desperate need is a disproportionate response that collectively punishes innocent individuals enduring unimaginable hardships.
Moreover, the suspension of this assistance poses significant challenges for humanitarian organizations on the ground and has potential consequences. Immediate aid resumption is critical to prevent further deterioration of living conditions, increased crime rates, and heightened risks, particularly for women and girls who have already suffered widespread sexual violence. Furthermore, the interruption of food assistance jeopardizes the well-being and education of millions of children who are just beginning to return to school after years of disruption.
While it is crucial to investigate and prosecute those involved in the mismanagement of aid, ensure robust oversight and redress mechanisms, we cannot let the actions of a few compromise the lives and well-being of millions in need.
Resuming food aid while implementing stringent accountability measures will foster an environment conducive to peace, strengthen local administration capacity, and provide hope to the suffering population of Tigray.
Humanitarian aid is guided by the principles of saving lives, alleviating suffering, and upholding human dignity. The suspension of aid betrays these principles and undermines the commitments made by USAID & WFP, the U.S. government, and the international community.
Based on the significant considerations presented, I urge you to use your influence to facilitate an immediate restart of aid distribution in Tigray by actively encouraging Cindy McCain and Samantha Powers to reconsider their decision to suspend WFP & USAID assistance.
The lives of millions teeter on the edge of despair. With each passing moment, their suffering deepens, and your heartfelt commitment can ignite a spark of hope, offering a lifeline to those who are enduring profound adversity.
Thank you for your attention to this critical matter.
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