WHO chief says ‘skin color’ behind lack of aid to Tigray

Calling it “the world’s worst humanitarian crisis”, with 6 million people unable to access basic services, Tedros questioned in an emotional appeal why the situation is not getting the same attention as the Ukraine conflict.

“Maybe the reason is the color of the people’s skin,” Tigray-born Tedros told a virtual media briefing on Wednesday. At a briefing in April this year, he questioned whether “black and white lives” were given equal attention in emergencies worldwide.

Fighting between Ethiopian and Tigrayan forces has left thousands dead and hundreds of thousands facing severe food insecurity, the Internal Displacement Monitoring Center said.

Last year, the crisis set a world record for displacement, resulting in 5.1 million displacements in a single year.

WHO emergencies director Mike Ryan also hit out at the lack of concern for the drought and famine in the Horn of Africa and the subsequent health crisis.

“Nobody seems to give a damn about what’s happening in the Horn of Africa,” Ryan said in a virtual media briefing Wednesday.

WHO called for $123.7 million to tackle health problems caused by growing malnutrition in the region, where nearly 200 million people live and millions more are hungry.

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