Addis Ababa, 21 June 2022 (TDI):The European Union (EU) Commissioner for Crisis Management is on a two-day visit to Ethiopia.

As a part of the schedule, Demeke Mekonnen Hassen, Ethiopian Foreign Minister, had a meeting with Janez Lenarčič, the EU Commissioner, on Monday.

The meeting focused on the humanitarian situation and the latest developments in Ethiopia. At the same time, both sides also discussed the rising humanitarian need in the context of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Following the meeting, the EU Commissioner visited the Tigray region on Tuesday. This is the first visit that Commissioner Lenarčič paid to Tigray since the outbreak of the conflict in the region.

Moreover, the Commissioner also visited the Ayder hospital in Mekelle town. After the visit, the Commissioner spoke highly of the dedication that the local medical staff has made. Meanwhile, Janez showed particular concern for the injured children.

European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations

Janez Lenarčič, the EU Commissioner for Crisis Management, is in charge of European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid as well.

Therefore, Commissioner Lenarčič’s work is under the umbrella of the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations Department.

As an agency offering humanitarian aid, the department mainly operates its work following four main principles. Initially, the department addresses humanitarian issues with special attention to vulnerable groups.

Secondly, the agency never favors any side in a conflict, which offers the agency neutrality. Thirdly, the department provides aid only based on the needs without any kind of discrimination.

Last but not least, the department holds its own independence instead of joining any agenda.

The department started providing humanitarian assistance to people in need in the year 1992. Since then, the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations have been helping millions of people all over the world annually.

The Humanitarian Crisis in Tigray War

The Tigray War is a civil war that began on November 3, 2020 in the Tigray Region of Ethiopia. The local Tigray Defense Forces (TDF) and The Front for the Liberation of the Tigray People (TPLF) are fighting against the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF), the Ethiopian Federal Police, regional police, and gendarmerie forces of the neighboring regions with the involvement of the Eritrean Defence Forces (EDF).

The Tigray War has already triggered a serious humanitarian crisis. It brought about a series of violations and abuses against civilians.

Such violence includes illegal killings and extrajudicial executions, torture, sexual and gender-based violence, violations of the human rights of refugees, and forced displacement of civilians.

According to relevant UN surveys, there are currently about 7 million people in need of food aid and emergency support.

Simultaneously, there are more than 5 million people in Tigray alone, and an estimated 400,000 people are living under famine-like conditions.

Approximately 1.7 million people were forced to be displaced by the fighting, and more than 60,000 refugees crossed the border into neighboring Sudan.