Skip to main content

Committee Chairs seek answers from Government on UK response to worsening humanitarian crisis in Tigray

24 March 2021

The Chairs of the Foreign Affairs Committee and International Development Committee have written to the Foreign Secretary on the deeply troubling crisis in Ethiopia’s Tigray region.

Crisis situation

The International Development Committee took evidence on the crisis during a one-off evidence session last week. Members heard that many thousands of people are displaced with insufficient access to food and clean water. There are reports of serious human rights violations including sexual violence.

With no end to the suffering in sight, the Chairs of the Committees are seeking answers on the FCDO’s actions to end the conflict, ensure safe access for humanitarian supplies and to collect evidence of human rights abuses.

International Development Committee Chair, Sarah Champion MP, said:

“The situation in Tigray is heart-wrenching. Last week my Committee heard deeply troubling reports of rape being used as a weapon of war, severe food shortages, breakdown of health and education infrastructure and the safety of NGO staff under threat in refugee camps. This must not go on, and the UK Government cannot bury its head in the sand. Following the Minister’s evidence to the Committee, we are asking the Foreign Secretary how the UK is actively working to enable humanitarian access, end hostilities and record cases of human rights violations.”

Foreign Affairs Committee Chair, Tom Tugendhat MP, said:

“Rape as a weapon of war is an appalling and frequent feature of the war in Tigray. US President Biden has sent Senator Chris Coons to Ethiopia to help find a solution but there is still more that can be done. The UK must bring allies together to end this horrific conflict and the Foreign Secretary has an important role in coordinating others. I have written to ask his plans and look forward to hearing more.”

Further information

Image: Parliamentary Copyright