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.
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
“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.