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Statement by Ambassador Christoph Heusgen in the UN Security Council VTC AOB on the humanitarian situation in Ethiopia, December 14, 2020

14.12.2020 - Speech

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I will be very short: we need access.

The ICRC convoy is good, but more needs to happen. We have information that refugee camps will run out of food by the end of this week. We need full, safe, unhindered access for humanitarian workers. Access must be granted following the humanitarian principles which were mentioned before. We also regret the death of humanitarian personnel in Tigray. Again: there has to be safe access for humanitarian workers.

There are newspaper reports about horrendous cruelties refugees entering Sudan had been exposed to before crossing the border. We have information that refugees are prevented from fleeing to Sudan, that they are sent back, which also constitutes a violation of international humanitarian law. There are also reports that Eritrean soldiers appear to control some movement of refugees in the Eritrean border region. Again, all this must stop.

Germany is providing humanitarian assistance and supporting the Central Emergency Response Fund. We just last week pledged another 10 million euros to this fund, making Germany the largest contributor in 2020 with 110 million euros. We are also the largest and the second largest donor for the humanitarian country funds for Ethiopia and for Sudan.

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