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Plus de 100,000 des enfants du Tigré en Éthiopie pourraient mourir de faim

Plus de 100,000 des enfants du Tigré en Éthiopie pourraient mourir de faim
The UN says that around 400,000 are living in famine conditions in Tigray

le Les Nations Unies children’s agency said on Friday that more than 100,000 children in Ethiopia’s northern region of Tigray could suffer life-threatening malnutrition in the next 12 mois, a 10-fold increase to normal numbers. UNICEF spokesperson Marixie Mercado said that one-in-two pregnant and breastfeeding women screened in Tigray were acutely malnourished.

“Our worst fears about the health and well-being of childrenare being confirmed,” she told a briefing in Geneva.

Spokespeople for the prime minister and a government task force on Tigraywhere fighting between rebellious regional and federal forces have continued since Novemberdid not immediately respond to requests for comment on UNICEF’s statement.

Les bébés comme Aammanuel Merhawi, 20 mois, souffrent le plus. Il est un tiers en dessous du poids normal pour son âge. Ses yeux fiévreux brillent et ses côtes sont visibles alors qu'il se soulève, vomissement de la nourriture supplémentaire administrée par un tube nasal. Tous sont des signes de malnutrition sévère.

« Mon lait s'est tari," sa mère, Brkti Gebrehiwot, a déclaré à Reuters à l'hôpital général de Wukro dans le nord du Tigré le 11 juillet.

Les agences d'aide disent qu'elles sont sur le point de manquer de la formule utilisée pour traiter 4,000 sévèrement malnutri enfants chaque mois.

Au moins trois enfants sont morts à l'hôpital de Wukro depuis février, l'infirmière Tsehaynesh Gebrehiwot a déclaré.

Elle a fourni leurs dossiers médicaux: Awet Gebreslassie, quatre mois, a pesé 2.6 kilogrammes (5.7 kg), un tiers du poids normal; Robel Gebrezgiher, un an, a pesé 2 kg, moins d'un quart du poids normal; et Kisanet Hogus, aussi un an, weighed 5 kg – just over half of normal weight.

All died within days of admission.

In Adigrat General Hospital further north, Reuters saw medical records confirming the death of three more malnourished children.

Doctors in both hospitals said they saw between four to 10 severely malnourished children monthly before the conflict erupted in November. Now numbers have more than doubled.

The UN says that around 400,000 people are living in famine conditions in Tigray, and more than 90 per cent of the population needs emergency food aid.

In a statement on Thursday evening, the Ethiopian government blamed Tigray regional forces for blocking aid and said it had stockpiled reserve wheat in the region. It gave no details on the stockpile’s location or plans for distribution.

The TPLF was unavailable for comment but has previously said it welcomes aid.

The UN says Tigray needs 100 trucks of food daily to prevent mass starvation; only one 50-truck convoy has got through in the past month.