APA-Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) At least 30 refugees have died of hunger and malnutrition since May after food aid was halted in camps in Ethiopia’s Gambella region, the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has said.
The commissionIn. in a statement issued late Wednesday, expressed grave concern over rapidly deteriorating and increasingly concerning shortages of food provision in refugee camps and internally displaced persons with conflict spreading across Ethiopia.
The rights body conducted monitoring visits to refugee camps in Gambella which hosts around 400,000 refugees, in late August.
It found that no new food assistance had been provided since May at the Nguenyiel camp, housing 112,000 refugees, and since June at the Tierkidi and Kule camps.
“The halting of food aid combined with lack of nutritionally adequate food for children is creating concern of malnutrition, which is affecting not only those under five years old but also children above the age of 10 years,” the EHRC said in a statement.
Refugees reported “struggling to survive due to acute shortage of food,” EHRC said adding the lack of food contributed to hunger related deaths.
According to refugee representatives and Refugee and Returnee Service (RRS), lack of food aid has contributed to approximately 30 hunger-related deaths in Gambella camps so far.
Refugees have been attacked and killed while leaving camps to search for food, according to the EHRC and refugee representatives, warning that the situation would potentially destabilize refugee-host community relations.