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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

WFP starts food aid for violence victims in eastern Ethiopia 

ADDIS ABABA, (Xinhua) -- The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) revealed on Wednesday that humanitarian food distribution has begun for tens of thousands of people seeking temporary shelter following violent protests in Ethiopia’s Eastern Somali Region.

People in Ethiopia’s Somali regional state fled their homes following violent protests since earlier this month.

“Houses, churches, vehicles and shops were burned, damaged or looted, and WFP was forced to suspend all its operations in the Somali Region. At least 80 people were killed, according to media reports,” WFP said in a statement on Wednesday.

WFP said that some 52,000 people, sheltering in three locations in the regional capital of Jijiga city, had received food aid during WFP’s first food provision endeavors.

WFP usually provides food assistance to close to 2 million food-insecure people in Ethiopia’s Somali Region.

While the region has reportedly become calmer in recent days, UN travel restrictions are still in place and other WFP operations remain on hold. WFP also expressed its hopes to resume normal operations in the area “shortly.”

“Working with our partners we hope to provide as much support as possible to those people affected by these disturbances,” said Christine Clarence, WFP Emergency Coordinator for the Somali Region.

She added that a humanitarian coordination committee with government and humanitarian partners was working to identify food distribution points for other vulnerable people in Jijiga. 

             

 

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