Ethiopia suspended the activities of two humanitarian organizations working in the war-torn Tigray region as the conflict in the north of the country enters its ninth month.
Medecins Sans Frontieres, one of only a handful of experienced international groups providing frontline health care to people in conflict areas, said it was told to cease their operations by the government late last month. The Norwegian Refugee Council, which provides assistance to nearly 600,000 people in six regions across Ethiopia, was given similar orders.
The decision to stop the work of the two groups comes as hundreds of thousands of people face starvation in the Tigray region. Food aid is urgently needed and the United Nations has said life-saving interventions should be scaled up, with the government allowing unimpeded access to those in need.