More international aid is arriving in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, ending a months-long blockade after the warring sides agreed to a ceasefire.
The U.N.’s World Food Program, or WFP, said Wednesday that its trucks had arrived in northwest Tigray via Gondor, a city in the Amhara region to the south.
The aid organization said, “More food nutrition, medical cargo will follow imminently” through all available routes into Tigray.
The news comes a day after two trucks of medical supplies from the International Committee of the Red Cross, or ICRC, reached Mekelle, Tigray’s capital.
Two years of war in the northern region have displaced an estimated 2.5 million people from their homes and left millions more in need of food aid and other basic necessities.
The ICRC said Wednesday that a “test flight” had arrived in Shire, a city in northwest Tigray that hosts hundreds of thousands of people uprooted by recent fighting. The resumption of airlifts would “alleviate the suffering of thousands needing immediate support,” the ICRC said.
The Gondar route used by the WFP convoy had been closed to aid groups since June, when federal forces and their allies retreated from Tigray in the face of an offensive by rebel forces led by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).
Over the weekend, military leaders from both sides reached an agreement laying out a roadmap for implementing the cease-fire, which was signed in Pretoria on November 2.
The accord contains security guarantees for humanitarian workers and pledges the parties to facilitating “unhindered humanitarian access” to Tigray, although phone, internet and banking services have not yet been restored to the region.