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WHO chief calls Tigray the worst humanitarian and man-made disaster on earth

World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Wednesday that conflict-ridden Ethiopia's Tigray province is the worst humanitarian and man-made disaster on the planet. said.

The WHO director-general said her more than six million people in Tigray have been besieged by Ethiopia and Eritrea for nearly two years. He said they were isolated from the outside world, with no electricity, no banking services and a limited supply of fuel.

Tedros said a trickle of food aid and medicine has reached the impoverished northern provinces since a ceasefire was declared between the Ethiopian government and Tigre rebels in late March. . The population is still facing multiple disease outbreaks, including malaria, anthrax and cholera, he added. has punished 6 million citizens by denying them basic services for more than 21 months," he said.

FILE - WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus speaks in Lyon, central France, Sept. 27, 2021.
File - WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus speaks in central Lyon, France , September 27, 2021.

Tedros, 57, is not a neutral observer of the Tigre conflict. A native of the region, he served as a health official in the Tigray region in the early 2000s, then served for more than a decade in the Ethiopian government, first as Minister of Health and then Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Tedros said peace talks over the Tigray conflict were underway. But he said they were getting nowhere because the powerful nations of the developed world had not used their influence to make it happen.

"The humanitarian crisis in Tigray is, without exaggeration, more than Ukraine." ' said Tedros. "And I said this many months ago, maybe the reason is the color of the skin of the Tigre people....As we speak, this is the worst disaster on earth I am from Tigray.It is not because I am from Tigray.What I am saying is that it is true.”

He said he was appealing to the Ethiopian government. He also said he was appealing to the Russian government to end the war in Ukraine and choose peace.

He said both the Ethiopian and Russian governments could make peace if they chose.