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UN warns of 'very critical' shortages in Ethiopia's Tigray

The United Nations says shortages have become “very critical” in Ethiopia’s embattled Tigray region as its population of 6 million remains sealed off and its capital is under threat of attack by Ethiopian forces seeking to arrest the regional leaders.

Fuel and cash are running out, more than 1 million people are now displaced and food for nearly 100,000 refugees from Eritrea will be gone in a week, according to a new report released overnight. And more than 600,000 people who rely on monthly food rations haven’t received them this month.

Travel blockages are so dire that even within the Tigray capital, Mekele, the U.N. World Food Program cannot obtain access to transport food from its warehouses there.

Tigray people who fled the conflict in Ethiopia's Tigray region, walk at Umm Rakouba refugee camp in Qadarif, eastern Sudan, Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020. Misery continues for the refugees in Sudan, with little food, little medicine, little shelter, little funding and little or no contact with loved ones left behind in Tigray. (AP PhotoNariman El-Mofty)

Communications and travel links remain severed with the Tigray region since the deadly conflict broke out on Nov. 4, and now Human Rights Watch is warning that “actions that deliberately impede relief supplies” violate international humanitarian law.

Tigray people who fled the conflict in Ethiopia's Tigray region, walk at Umm Rakouba refugee camp in Qadarif, eastern Sudan, Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020. Misery continues for the refugees in Sudan, with little food, little medicine, little shelter, little funding and little or no contact with loved ones left behind in Tigray. (AP PhotoNariman El-Mofty)

A Tigray girl who fled the conflict in Ethiopia's Tigray region, walks near her shelter in Umm Rakouba refugee camp in Qadarif, eastern Sudan, Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020. Misery continues for the refugees in Sudan, with little food, little medicine, little shelter, little funding and little or no contact with loved ones left behind in Tigray. (AP PhotoNariman El-Mofty)

A Tigray woman who fled the conflict in Ethiopia's Tigray region, holds her chest as she suffers from chest pains and coughs, at the Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) makeshift clinic, in Umm Rakouba refugee camp in Qadarif, eastern Sudan, Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020. Misery continues for the refugees in Sudan, with little food, little medicine, little shelter, little funding and little or no contact with loved ones left behind in Tigray. (AP PhotoNariman El-Mofty)